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Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov was taken into custody by Russian authorities on Friday for allegedly planning to evade military service, according to Russian media.
Fedotov, who represented the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, was taken into custody by members of the Russian Criminal Investigation Department outside an ice rink in Kupchino and taken to a military registration and enlistment office, according to Russian media outlet Fontanka.
Fedotov signed a one-year entry contract with the Flyers in May after a season with CSKA Moscow, which he led to their second title in franchise history.
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According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Russian team’s close ties to the Russian military and government mean that its departure to the NHL could be construed as a violation of Russian law, as team members are considered official military personnel.
Russian media outlet Fontanka quoted the military prosecutor’s office as saying it believed there were sufficient grounds to prosecute the player as an “army escapee”.
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Fedotov could face up to two years in prison if charged and convicted.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher released a statement Friday after news of Fedotov’s detention was announced.
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“We are aware of the information and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Fletcher said.
Fedotov was taken into custody the same day WNBA star Brittney Griner’s trial began. She risk up to 10 years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking charges