THE family of the late boxer Darren Sutherland are understood to be seeking a jury-based inquest in the hope of securing a verdict of death by misadventure, and not suicide.
Sutherland's death in September last year has sparked an ongoing stand-off between the Olympian's family and his management team in London.
Sources have indicated that a "big inquiry" is likely behind the scenes, with both sides declining to make any significant comment.
Tensions between family and his coaching staff in London have not eased: legal 'gagging' letters have been sent to the boxer's former manager, Frank Maloney, requesting that he does not comment on Sutherland's death.
Maloney said he had not been contacted about a planned tribute to the boxer but remained tight-lipped on his relationship with the family.
"I respect the family's wishes. I have no argument with the family. I fully respect their wishes. I have no anger over it. The young man took his own life and that is the only issue," he told the Sunday Tribune.
Maloney discovered Sutherland's body in his London flat in September last year. His relationship with the family publicly collapsed immediately after the death.
"I had a lot of respect for Darren Sutherland. I thought he was a very nice young man but he changed over the few months and there was something different towards the end. Once the coroner's court is done I think it will all come out in the wash and we will make a statement then."
Despite Maloney's reluctance to discuss his relationship with the Sutherland family ahead of the pending inquest, sources within the British boxing community have said several legal letters have been exchanged between the parties.
It is believed that correspondence sent to Maloney related to attempts to prevent him from discussing the former boxer in public.
"They tried to [gag him] but it would never get enforced in England," a source said.
A spokeswoman for the Sutherland family said the matter was with solicitors and declined to comment.
While no date has been set for the inquest, which was adjourned last year, sources have indicated the family is to seek a jury hearing in an effort to have his death ruled misadventure, a different verdict from suicide.
However, while declining to comment on a specific case, a spokeswoman in the coroner's court in the UK said this would be highly unlikely.
She said that while a family has the right to seek one, it was "very, very rare for a suicide to get a jury".