Following an appeal from Kunlun Red Star of Beijing, the Kontinental Hockey League has decided to impose a lifetime ban on Barys Astana defenseman Damir Ryspayev.
The KHL’s competitions department considered Kunlun’s appeal and also reviewed the incident that occurred during the game on August 8, 2016, between Barys and Kunlun during the President of Kazakhstan’s Cup pre-season tournament. The department reviewed all material connected with the incident.
In reaching a verdict on this incident, the competitions department also studied the opinions of league’s sporting and disciplinary committee and took into account Damir Ryspayev’s previous infractions of the rules of the game.
In accordance with articles 1, 11 and 33 of the disciplinary code of the KHL concerning breaches of rule 527 (extreme roughing) and 528 (fighting or roughing) in the “Rules of the Game of Hockey 2016/17”, Damir Ryspayev was duly handed a lifetime ban from sporting and corporate activity within the league.
This ban cannot be appealed through the courts or any other procedure. However, it may be reversed if the Disciplinary Committee agrees to review any statement from the individual concerned.
In addition the KHL paid close attention to the fact that neither the training staff nor the directors of Barys Astana took adequate measures to stop Damir Ryspayev from acting in a manner that violated the rules of the game of hockey.
It goes without saying that hockey is a contact sport. But above all, it is a fair contest in which rival players are guided by the rules of the game and spirit of sporting ethics. The League acts as a guarantor of these rules and laws, and cannot allow them to be systematically and grotesquely violated. It is utterly unacceptable to intentionally endanger the safety and fitness of opposing players. Every player’s professionalism is demonstrated by the ability to play a hard, uncompromising game while maintaining full respect for fellow sportsmen and their fans.
In hockey there has always been space for a fair fight between equal opponents under the principles of fair play. But in hockey, as in any other professional sport, the can be no place for the outright violence displayed by Barys defenseman Damir Ryspayev in the game against KHL newcomer Kunlun Red Star. We are constantly working to attract a new audience and broaden the game’s geographical reach and Ryspayev’s behavior is not merely harmful in a sporting context, it also blackens the image of the league. As directors of the league, we could not allow this incident to go unpunished and so we have taken this decision.