Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Under Pressure, Steblin Quits as Hockey Chief

Itar-TassAlexander Steblin
Alexander Steblin resigned as president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation on Friday amid mounting pressure to quit his job following allegations of drunkenness and violent behavior.

"We just had the RIHF board meeting, where I announced my decision to quit," Steblin told reporters.

Asked the reasons for his resignation, Steblin said: "There are higher interests of Russian hockey that needed this radical decision. We need new people, new ideas."

In January, Steblin was sacked as president of Russia's Professional Hockey League following an incident at the European Champions Cup in St. Petersburg. Witnesses said he punched a Russian journalist and insulted VIP guests, including Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

It was later reported in the Russian media that Steblin, 57, said he had been given tranquilizer pills without his knowledge and that they had made him violent. The former Dynamo Moscow defenseman and police colonel has ruled Russian hockey since his predecessor, Valentin Sych, was shot dead in a Moscow suburb on his way to work in 1997.

But earlier this week, Russian media reported that Steblin had been invited to the Kremlin for talks after which it became clear his days were numbered. Steblin would also have to quit his position on the IIHF's executive council.

It was not the first time Steblin has had problems off the ice. In 1999, he paid a fine after Finnish prosecutors charged him following an alleged brawl with a passenger at Helsinki Airport.