Russian goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov was detained in St. Petersburg on the request of the military prosecutor’s office on Friday for evading military service, according to reports from Russian media outlets.
According to Russian news outlet Fontanka, the military prosecutor’s office believes that there are grounds to “consider Fedotov an army evader.”
Speaking to Russian state media RIA Novosti, his lawyer Alexey Ponomarev denied that Fedotov had evaded military service.
The 25-year-old Finnish-born Russian signed a one year entry level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers on May 7, after the conclusion of Russian and Chinese hockey league KHL’s season, where he led CSKA Moscow to win the Gagarin Cup.
Fedotov was detained outside the Ice Arena Kupchino in St. Petersburg and was transported to the military registration and enlistment office, where he became ill and had to be transported to the hospital, Fontanka reported.
“We’re aware of the reports and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Chuck Fletcher, Flyers President of Hockey Operations, said in a statement sent to CNN.
In an interview with Russian news outlet Match.TV on Saturday, Ponomarev said he and Fedotov’s parents were prohibited from seeing the goalkeeper in the hospital.
“At this moment, we can’t say exactly how things are. He was in the hospital, at least in fact, but for some reason he was not listed as the other patients,” Ponomarev said.
“Recently, the military police entered the territory of the hospital. I introduced myself to them, said that I was a lawyer and asked what issue they had come for. They turned around, got into the car and did not give any more comments until they were let into the hospital grounds.
“Since then, we have not heard anything. As far as I understand, they want to transfer him in a serious condition to some kind of military investigative body. While he argues as best he can that this is not necessary, but events are developing rapidly, now he does not get in touch.”
In Russia, all men between 18 and 27 are required to complete one year of military service, with some exemptions. Evasion of conscription, can be punishable by heavy fines and sentences of up to two years in prison.”
“It is difficult to predict his fate,” Ponomarev added. “He was on the territory of the city military registration and enlistment office, but he is registered with the military in Moscow. They found his registration certificate, but he lives in Vsevolozhsk. That is, he has nothing to do with the city military registration and enlistment office.
“Also yesterday, information about his presence there was concealed in every possible way, despite the fact that he had a phone and informed his relatives that he was there. The employees of the military commissariat were informed that a complaint had been filed with the court and the decision had been suspended.
“The court must resolve this issue, but the conscription procedure was violate. It is strictly described in the law. It is clear that this is not as simple as that. Judging by the last contact with him, he does not feel very well,” Ponomarev concluded
CNN has reached out to the NHL, CSKA Moscow, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and Ponomarev but did not immediately hear back.
The Russian Olympic Committee goalie, who helped his team win men’s ice hockey silver at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, was reportedly detained on the same day that two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist Brittney Griner’s trial began near Moscow, on drug smuggling charges, which can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Griner’s supporters and US officials say she is wrongfully 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 US.
At the trial, Griner was accused by a prosecutor of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage and carry-on. The second hearing of the trial is set to take place on July 7.