(Reuters) – A Russian ice hockey player under contract with a U.S.-based National Hockey League (NHL) team has been detained in Russia for escaping military service and has since been taken to a military hospital after falling ill, his lawyer said. a Russian news agency.
Ivan Fedotov, a goaltender for the Russian team that won silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics this year, signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in May.
His detention comes after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Moscow describes its actions as a “special military operation”.
The Fontanka.ru news site reported on Friday that the 25-year-old was arrested by St. Petersburg police at the request of the military prosecutor’s office and taken to an enlistment office.
His lawyer, Alexei Ponomaryev, told the official RIA news agency on Saturday that Fedotov was taken to an enlistment office on Friday and then to a military hospital after falling ill.
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“As I understand it, due to stress, he got gastritis,” Ponomaryev said. “Ivan feels bad. He says he doesn’t have full medical attention.”
Ponomaryev denied accusations that his client evaded military service.
The St. Petersburg Police Department did not respond to a request for comment. Fedotov did not respond to a request for comment sent to his Instagram account on Friday. Reuters could not immediately reach his attorney, Ponomaryev, for comment.
Fedotov, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 entry draft, led CSKA Moscow of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) to the Gagarin Cup, the league title, last season.
A CSKA Moscow spokesman told Reuters on Friday it was awaiting official information from the relevant bodies. “At the moment, Ivan Fedotov is not bound by any contractual obligations with our club,” added the spokesperson.
The NHL cut trade ties with Russia, but did not ban the more than 50 players from its teams.
The league is not allowing the Stanley Cup, its championship trophy, to travel to Russia for a home celebration for Valery Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Edmund Blair)
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