Alexander Lukashenko has appointed the former head of the Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus Dmitry Baskov a member of the Council of the National Assembly – the upper house of the country’s parliament. About it informs agency BelTA.
“He is a capable man. I send him there [в парламент] not only because he is a patriot, a person devoted to the country <...> but I want to see him there as a capable person, ”Lukashenka said. According to him words, in the upper house of the Basques will deal with social issues, as well as sports topics. “A man on his feet is always – and will help and prompt. Your main task is to help people. Everything! And, of course, the sports tail is behind you, ”Lukashenka turned to the coach.
In early September, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for five years disqualified Baskov. This decision was made following an investigation that lasted nine months. In the federation have establishedthat Basque violated the IIHF Code of Conduct, namely “tried to directly influence others [людей]so that they support the Belarusian authorities ”, threatened athletes and discriminated against them due to political convictions. In addition, Baskov abused his position to “support the current President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko,” thus violating Article 5 of the Olympic Charter.
IIHF also held investigation Baskov’s connections with the death of activist Roman Bondarenko on November 12, 2020. Tribuna.com (authorities consider this sports site “extremist”) wrotethat “a man who looks like Baskov” was seen on the evening of November 12 at the Square of Changes in Minsk, when unknown persons wearing masks beat one of the protesters. Bondarenko from his injuries died in reanimation. The head of the Ice Hockey Federation himself claimedthat was not involved in the death of the activist, in the IIHF, in turn, also did not find confirmation of this information, but did not rule out that Basque really was at the scene of the tragedy.
After the scandal erupted over IIHF sanctions on September 10 Basque left the post of the head of the Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus. It was noted that he wrote a letter of resignation of his own free will. In the federation, his decision was called a forced measure so as not to harm the sport. There notedthat the IIHF’s decision to disqualify Baskov was made allegedly due to “pressure from political forces” – it is not known which ones. Basque also left Board of Directors of the Continental Hockey League.
In Belarus, Basque is known as a person from Lukashenka’s inner circle. He, in particular, trains amateur hockey team, in which Lukashenka plays. He met him back in the late 90s. In June, amid mass protests, the Basques wrote an open letter to the “sports community” in support of Lukashenka, in which he criticized opposition-minded athletes. Baskov pointed out that “athletes have nothing to complain about in Belarus” and noted that sports in the country developed thanks to Lukashenka. In August he Participated in in the rally “For Belarus” in support of Lukashenka.