(Reuters) – A Russian ice hockey player under contract with a U.S.-based National Hockey League (NHL) team has been detained in Russia over charges he evaded military service and has since been taken to a military hospital after falling ill, his lawyer told a Russian state news agency.
Ivan Fedotov, a goaltender on 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’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Moscow calls its actions a “special military operation”.
The Fontanka.ru news website said on Friday the 25-year-old had been detained by St Petersburg police at the request of the military prosecutor’s office and was taken to an enlistment office.
His lawyer, Alexei Ponomaryev, told state news agency RIA on Saturday that Fedotov was taken to an enlistment office on Friday and then a military hospital after falling ill.
“As I understand it, due to stress, he had gastritis,” Ponomaryev said. “Ivan feels bad. He says that he is not being provided with full medical assistance.”
Ponomaryev denied accusations that his client had evaded military service.
The St Petersburg police service did not reply 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 lawyer, Ponomaryev, for comment.
Fedotov, who was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 Entry Draft, led CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to the Gagarin Cup, the league’s championship title, last season.
A spokesman for CSKA Moscow told Reuters on Friday it was awaiting official information from relevant bodies. “At the moment Ivan Fedotov is not bound by contractual obligations with our club,” the spokesman added.
The NHL has severed business ties with Russia but has not banned the more than 50 players on 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)