Sports Ministry comments on police search of Team Belarus' in France


Sports Ministry comments on police search of Team Belarus' in France

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus has expressed strong protest in connection with the search of the Belarusian ice hockey team in Paris. The Foreign Ministry also requires a thorough investigation of the incident, explanations and apologies from the French side.

Team Belarus arrived in Paris to participate in the IIHF WM 2017 but were searched by police at the railway station. Personal belongings were inspected. All doctors' medications were also checked. The police could not find anything and the team was later released.

This is not the first such case. In April 2016 Belarusian rowers were searched in France. Back then it was meldonium the police were trying to find.

Evgenia Nikitina, Press Secretary of the Ice Hockey Federation of the Republic of Belarus:
We believe that the official participants of the sports delegation can at least be warned about such procedures in advance. Alternatively, all other delegations should be on equal terms.

Vladimir Nesterovich, Press Secretary of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus:
This situation somehow reminds some theater of absurd. We believe this is just some kind of purposeful attack on the Belarusian team, on the representatives of the Republic of Belarus, to somehow affect their morale.

Dmitry Mironchik, Belarus foreign ministry spokesperson:
Today the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Kravchenko, strong protest was expressed [to the ambassador]. Belarus demanded to investigate the incident, provide explanations and apologize. And also take measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Belarus plays their first IIHF WM game against Finland on May 5.