The board of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has asked an independent ethics committee to investigate the Russian Hockey Federation and former IIHF President René Fasel on issues related to the war in Ukraine.
The IIHF on Thursday cited Russia’s instructions to the country’s elite hockey league, the KHL, to support the war and both Fasel’s involvement in the country and his comments about the invasion as reasons. to open investigations. The Board of Directors could refer the Russian Federation, Fasel or both to the IIHF Disciplinary Committee if the situation warrants it.
Fasel, who was president of the IIHF from 1994 to 2021, has since accepted an advisory position with the Continental Hockey League (KHL), which is considered the best hockey league in the world behind the National Hockey League. .
The 72-year-old Swiss native criticized the IIHF’s decision last month to ban Russia and Belarus from upcoming competitions due to the invasion of Ukraine. In one interview with Russian state mediahe called it a “sad moment in the history of the IIHF”, adding that the Soviet Union faced Canada and the United States during the Cold War and said: “Even in such a tense situation as ‘today, sport must carry the message of peace and united people. ”
The IIHF has declared that its code of ethics requires current and former presidents to “conduct themselves in accordance with the principles of dignity, integrity, loyalty and responsibility in all relations of a competitive, economic, social context”. [including social media] and moral nature.
Fasel has been publicly friendly with Vladimir Putin and has been involved in hockey games the Russian president has played. Former IIHF communications director Szymon Szemberg has publicly referred to “Fasel’s shady relationship with Putin.”
Reached by text, Fasel told The Associated Press he had no comment.
Earlier this month, the Russian Federation sent a letter to KHL clubs telling them it was obligatory for them to support efforts in Ukraine, sending pro-war campaign posters ordered to be used . The IIHF said Thursday: “Such an action would constitute a violation of the IIHF Code of Ethics.”
IIHF banned teams from Russia and Belarus of all tournaments until further notice. He also revoked Russia’s ability to host the 2023 World Junior Championship.
The International Skating Union (ISU), meanwhile, replaced its commentators at the world figure skating championships after an open mic picked up a degrading remark directed at retired Canadian skater Meagan Duhamel.
The ISU said Thursday it was “shocked” by the language and apologized to Duhamel.
Simon Reed made the comment at the end of Wednesday’s Pairs broadcast, apparently believing his microphone was off. This made fellow commentator Nicky Slater laugh.
“There is no place for harassing and abusive language or remarks and behavior in sport and our society,” the ISU said on Twitter. “The ISU has taken immediate action with its service provider to suspend both commentators with immediate effect and neither will cover future figure skating events for the ISU.”
He pledged to launch an “internal investigation”.
“The ISU has sincerely apologized to Ms. Duhamel for the inappropriate and unacceptable behavior of the two commentators,” the skating federation said.
Duhamel, a two-time world champion in pairs and Olympic champion in the team event, had criticized Reed and Slater’s comment earlier in the meet.
“Skate twitter hope we all enjoy some amazing skating today,” Duhamel wrote Thursday. “I have received a personal apology from Simon Reed and the President of the ISU and I do not believe a public apology is necessary at this stage. I appreciate and respect their apologies.
Picture credits: PA