Russian hockey goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov was arrested in St. Petersburg on Friday at the request of the military prosecutor for evading military service, according to Russian media reports.
According to the Fontanka news agency, the prosecution believes there are grounds for “considering Fedotov an army evader”. Speaking to state media RIA Novosti, his lawyer Alexey Ponomarev denied that Fedotov had run away from military service.
The 25-year-old Finnish-born Russian signed a one-year contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers on May 7, following the conclusion of the Russian and Chinese KHL hockey league season in which led CSKA Moscow to win the Gagarin Cup.
Fedotov was arrested outside the Kupchino Ice Arena in St. Petersburg and transported to the military registration and enlistment office, where he fell ill and had to be taken to a hospital, Fontanka reported.
“We are aware of the news and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Chuck Fletcher, president of hockey operations at Flyers, said in a statement sent to CNN .
In an interview with Russian news channel Match.TV on Saturday (2), Ponomarev said he and Fedotov’s parents were banned from seeing the athlete in hospital.
“Right now, we can’t say exactly how things are. He was in the hospital, but for some reason he was not listed with the other patients,” the lawyer noted.
“Recently, the military police entered the territory of the hospital. I introduced myself to them, said I was a lawyer, and asked what they had come for. They turned around, got in the car and didn’t make any comment until they left the hospital,” he added.
“Since then, we haven’t received anything. As I understand it, they want to transfer him in serious condition to some sort of military investigative body, but he argues, as best he can, that this is not necessary. However, events are developing rapidly, and now he is no longer in contact,” Ponomarev reported.
In Russia, all men between the ages of 18 and 27 are required to complete one year of military service, with some exceptions. Evasion of recruitment can be punishable by heavy fines and sentences of up to two years in prison.
“It’s difficult to predict what will happen to Fedotov,” said the goalkeeper’s lawyer. “He was on the territory of the city’s military registration and enlistment office, but his registration is from Moscow. They found his certificate, but he lives in Vsevolozhsk. That is, it has nothing to do with the city’s military registry and enlistment registry,” he explained.
“Also yesterday, information about his presence there was hidden in every possible way, despite him having a phone and informing his relatives that he was there. Military commissariat officials were informed that a complaint had been filed with the court and the decision was suspended,” he said.
“The court must resolve this issue, but the recruitment procedure has been violated. It is strictly described in the law. Of course, it’s not that simple. Judging by the last contact with him, he doesn’t feel very well,” concluded Ponomarev
THE CNN contacted the NHL, CSKA Moscow, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and Ponomarev, but received no immediate response.
The goalkeeper, who helped Russia’s Olympic Committee win men’s ice hockey silver at the 2022 Winter Olympics, was reportedly arrested on the same day as the trial of Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic basketball gold medalist. USA, started. She is accused of drug smuggling, an act that can be punished with up to 10 years in prison.
Griner supporters and US officials say she was unfairly detained and have called for her release as fears mount that she is being used as a political pawn amid rising tensions between Russia and the United States.
At trial, the athlete was accused by a prosecutor of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil in her backpack and carry-on luggage. The second trial hearing is scheduled for July 7.
Source: CNN Brasil