London – Russian hockey player Ivan Fedotov, who in May signed a one-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, was detained in St. Petersburg for evading military service, Russian state media reported . The report said he has since been taken to a Russian military hospital after feeling unwell.
In Russia, with a few exceptions, men between the ages of 18 and 27 can enlist in military service. Recruiting evasion is punishable with fine and up to two years in prison.
According to the state news agency RIA Novosti, Fedotov’s lawyer, Alexei Ponomarev, denied that the hockey player had avoided recruiting. He said that since his detention on Friday, Fedotov has been suffering from gastritis due to stress and has complained of receiving inadequate care at the hospital.
Ponomarev said that neither he nor Fedotov’s parents were allowed to see the goalkeeper of the Russian national team.
“Recently, military police entered the hospital area. I introduced myself to them, said I was a lawyer and asked what issue they had come for. They turned around, got into the car and by then someone Didn’t comment until he was let into the hospital grounds,” Ponomarev said in an interview with Russian news outlet Match.TV.
“Since then, we haven’t heard anything. As far as I understand, they want to transfer him in serious condition to some kind of military investigative body,” Ponomarev continued.
Fedotov’s lawyer and state news agency TASS said he was sent to Severomorsk in Russia’s far northern Murmansk region in the Arctic, which is home to a major naval base.
“Ivan was sent to Severomorsk at night. He was transferred to the hospital, but I have no further information,” RIA Novosti quoted Ponomarev as saying on Sunday.
Before signing with the Flyers, Fedotov played for CSKA Moscow of the Russian Continental Hockey League (KHL). He also played for the Russian Olympic hockey team, which won a silver medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The NHL has severed trade ties with Russia but has not banned Russian players from playing on their teams.