Russia fined $112,000 for leaving ice before 'O Canada' at hockey worlds

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Image: Hockey Canada

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has been fined 80,000 Swiss Francs (CAD$112,000) for leaving the ice before the Canadian national anthem was played during the medal ceremony of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey Championship in Czech Republic this past May. Canada defeated Russia 6-1 during the finals held at Prague’s O2 Arena.

The International Ice Hockey Federation made the announcement Monday following an investigation that was supported by video footage that revealed the Russian team captain had premeditated the snub with his teammates and staff.

Most players and staff from the Russian team left the ice, although players such as Alexander Ovechkin and Yevgeny were seen trying to stop their teammates from leaving.

“This was exceptional as no other team has ever left the ice before the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship medal ceremony was completed,” reads a statement by the IIHF.

Russia will not appeal the verdict and fine, but it maintains the incident was an “unfortunate misunderstanding” due to the open gate, which is a signal for the players to leave the ice.

In its verdict, the IIHF determined that the “open gate was irrelevant” as Russian players and staff “should have been aware of the post-game/victory and closing ceremony procedure because of their vast experience with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.”

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation has apologized to the Canadian team for its actions. The next IIHF World Championship will be held in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in May 2016.

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