The British man who died at a swanky Italian hotel during what may have been a sex game gone awry has been identified as former rugby star Ricky Bibey, according to reports.
Bibey, 40, who retired in 2012 due to an Achilles tendon injury, was discovered lifeless Saturday at the four-star Hotel Continentale in Florence — where he possibly died of a heart attack after a 44-year-old woman with him ran into a hallway for help, a source close to the matter told The Times.
The woman, who was bleeding from her neck, was rushed to a hospital, where she had surgery for internal bleeding, the London-based newspaper reported.
“She was suffering from serious injuries and there are different theories about what happened, with an erotic game not ruled out,” the source continued. “What needs to be established is whether she was consenting or not, whether this was a game or aggression on his part – this is what she can tell us.”
The unidentified woman, who is in stable condition, will be interviewed by Italian police on Tuesday, the Times reported.
“It’s to do with her physical state as well as the trauma she experiencing,” the source told the newspaper. “She was only told on Sunday that Bibey had died.”
An autopsy will be conducted Thursday to determine Bibey’s cause of death and if he was intoxicated at the time, according to the report.
“It was likely a heart attack but the post-mortem will confirm that,” the source told the outlet. “
Bibey, a former prop forward, made his professional rugby league debut in 2001 for the Wiggan Warriors. He also had stints in with St. Helens, Oldham, Leigh and Wakefield Trinity before injury cut his career short in 2012.
“This is extremely tragic news and my thoughts, prayers and love go to all of Ricky’s family,” Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont told BBC.
The former rugby star and his British companion on Friday checked into the Italian hotel, where accommodations start at $463 nightly. They then returned at about 3 a.m. Saturday, when witnesses reported them to be “intoxicated” but it’s unclear whether from alcohol or drugs, the Times reported.
Hours later, the partially nude woman stormed into a hallway while covered in blood and crying for help. Bibey was then found dead in the room, where investigators removed objects that may have been used to harm his companion, a source told the outlet.
“There were no signs of anyone else being in the room apart from the couple,” the source continued. “A medical examiner is now comparing them to her injuries to find out.”