Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky was found lying on his bathroom floor with a "ligature around his neck", a policeman said at the opening of an inquest into his death.
Detective Inspector Mark Bissell confirmed that the cause of the 67-year-old's death was "consistent with hanging" and that a similar material to the one around his neck was found on the shower rail above him.
He said toxicology tests on the body will continue as well as searches at his home in Ascot, Berkshire.
The inquest at the Guildhall in Windsor was opened and adjourned by Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford, and coroner's officer Janine Prunty confirmed that Mr Berezovsky's daughter, Elizaveta Berezovskaya, formally identified the body.
A post-mortem examination by a Home Office pathologist found no indication of a violent struggle in connection with the death of Mr Berezovsky, who was referred to as Platon Elemin due to him changing his name by deed poll.
The Russian exile was found dead at his home in Mill Lane, Ascot, last Saturday.
Mr Bissell, of Thames Valley Police, said an employee found and identified Mr Berezovsky, and said he was on the bathroom floor with a "ligature around his neck and a piece of the similar material on the shower rail above him". He added that Mr Berezovsky was last seen alive at approximately 9.05pm the night before by the same employee.
Mr Bissell said the scene of the death is currently under police control and the results of any tests carried out will take several weeks.
Although the post-mortem examination found no evidence of a violent struggle, Mr Bissell said the involvement of a third party "cannot be completely eliminated as tests remain outstanding".
The inquest - which was opened in the room next to the chamber where the Prince of Wales married the Duchess of Cornwall and where Elton John's civil partnership to David Furnish took place - was adjourned to a future date by coroner Mr Bedford.