Vladimir Petrov, centre, has died aged 69 ©IIHF

Russian ice hockey legend Vladimir Petrov has passed away at the age of 69 in Moscow following a battle with cancer. 

Petrov was a double Winter Olympic Games gold medallist after he was part of the successful Soviet Union teams at Sapporo 1972 and Innsbruck 1976.

He also won a silver medal at Lake Placid in 1980 after the Soviets lost out to the United States in the final round.

"He was an extraordinary player and an extraordinary person," Vladislav Tretiak, President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and a team-mate of Petrov's at three Olympic Games, said. 

"The Russian Federation would like to extend its condolences to the family and friends of Vladmir Petrov, and to his colleagues and all who knew him."

The Russian was one of the most decorated players in International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) history.

He played in 11 World Championships between 1969 and 1981, winning gold nine times, as well as a silver and bronze medal.

He was named in the tournament all-star team four times in 1973, 1975, 1977, and 1979. 

During his career, Vladimir Petrov won three Olympic medals, including two golds ©Getty Images
During his career, Vladimir Petrov won three Olympic medals, including two golds ©Getty Images

Petrov ranks fourth in the World Championships' all time points scorer charts.

His 152 points has only been beaten by the former Soviet trio of Alexander Maltsev, Valeri Kharlamov and Boris Mikhailov who have 153, 156 and 164 respectively.

Petrov, together with wingers Kharlamov and Mikhailov, formed the attacking trident that played in the iconic Summit Series against Canada in 1972.

Leading by three wins to one, the Soviets eventually lost 4-3 with one game tied.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Petrov the "pride and fame of Russian sports".

"He was wholeheartedly committed to his work, his team and his homeland," added Putin.

Following his retirement, he coached briefly and in 1992 was named President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, a position he held for two years.

He later worked for clubs Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, and SKA St. Petersburg as club manager. 

Petrov was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2006.

The Kontinental Hockey League will observe a moment of silence prior to games this evening and tomorrow in Petrov’s memory.