MOSCOW, Aug. 24 (UPI) — The Russian Ice Hockey Federation was fined $80,000 Swiss Francs — $85,000 — for leaving the ice before the Canadian national anthem played, following their 6-1 loss at the national championship game in Prague in May.
The Russian Hockey Federation claimed its players had been confused after the rink-side gate was left open and took that as a signal, but this claim was rejected by the Deciding Panel of the International Ice Hockey Foundation (IIHF).
“The decision to leave the rink was not linked to ill intent and disrespect to the opposing team,” the Russian Federation federation said in a statement. “The federation will carefully ensure that players and team representatives comply with all details of event protocol both at international and domestic competitions.”
The Russian Hockey Federation said it accepted the fine.
“The panel is of the opinion that the occurrences on the ice show that this is not a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding” as Russia claimed, the IIHF said, as reported by the Canadian Press.
The Russian men’s national ice hockey team has been competing internationally since 1993, and is recognized by the IIHF as the successor to the Soviet Union Hockey Federation. Russia won the 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014 World Ice Hockey Championships.