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Philadelphia Flyers avenue Ivan Fedotov was taken into custody by Russian authorities on Friday on suspicion that he planned to evade military service, Russian media reported.
Fedotov, who represented the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, was taken into custody officers of the criminal investigation department at the ice arena in Kupchino and taken to the military registration and enlistment office, according to the Russian newspaper Fontanka.
Fedotov signed entry-level annual contract with the Flyers in May after one season with CSKA in which he won the second title in franchise history.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Russian team’s close ties to the Russian military and government means his departure to the NHL could be construed as a violation of Russian law, as team members are considered official military personnel.
Russian News Agency Fontanka citing the military prosecutor’s office, which believes that there are sufficient grounds to bring the player to criminal liability as “dodging the army.”
Fedotov could face up to two years in prison if he is charged and found guilty.
Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher released a statement on Friday after Fedotov’s arrest became known.
“We are aware of these reports and we are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Fletcher said.
Fedotov was taken into custody on the same day that the trial of WNBA star Britney Griner began. She is faces up to 10 years in prison if tried for drug smuggling