Head of Russian Ice Hockey intends to step down

Russian Ice Hockey Federation president Alexander Steblin said Friday he is stepping down.

Steblin, who was elected in 1997, attracted criticism for Russia's poor performance in international competition. It last won the world championship in 1993.

The federation accepted Steblin's resignation and will hold presidential elections April 25.

"At the federation's extraordinary council that has just ended, I've announced my intention to resign," Steblin told reporters. "It's a new Olympic cycle and a new team is needed."

Steblin already stepped down as head of the Russian Professional Hockey League in January after abusing the league's arbitration commission chairman, Vsevolod Kukushkin, at the European Champions Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia.

News reports said Steblin appeared to be intoxicated and insulted officials including International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel, reports the AP.

D.M.

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