Former IIHF President René Fasel has acquired Russian citizenship ©Getty Images

Former International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) President René Fasel has obtained Russian citizenship after also acquiring 54 per cent of Alma Holding.

The 73-year-old Swiss took the majority stake in the Russian company, which is one of the country's main producers of apples.

The remaining 46 per cent belongs to Volga Group Agro which is owned by Gennady Timtshenko, an oligarch and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fasel stepped down as IIHF President on 25 September 2021, and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame on the same day.

He had served since 1994 and is the organisation's longest-serving President.

Fasel was then given the title of Life President.

Last year, he was referred to the IIHF Ethics Board because of his involvement with Russia and the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), as well as public statements about the war in Ukraine.

René Fasel has been previously criticised for his ties to Russia ©Getty Images
René Fasel has been previously criticised for his ties to Russia ©Getty Images

KHL Board of Directors chairman Gennady Timchenko was sanctioned by the United Kingdom last February after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, along with Boris Rotenberg, a sponsor of auto racing teams under the brand SMP Racing, who was also involved in construction projects for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

Igor Rotenberg, who co-owns the SGM Group, a construction firm specialising in creating oil and gas transportation systems, alongside uncle Boris Rotenberg, was also sanctioned for alleged close connections with Putin. 

Fasel had made a number of pro-Russian remarks in the past and was a critic of sanctions imposed on the nation in response to a state-sponsored doping programme and the subsequent cover-up.

He was alleged to have taken up a lucrative consultancy role with the Russian-funded KHL.

insidethegames has contacted the IIHF and the IOC for comment.