Russian hockey player Artem Anisimov comes out of isolation for the Olympics

MOSCOW – Former NHL forward Artem Anisimov came out of solitary confinement after testing negative for coronavirus and joined the Russian squad ahead of the Beijing Olympics, the country’s hockey federation announced on Thursday.

Anisimov has the most NHL experience of any Russian roster with 771 regular-season games played for four teams in 13 seasons, most recently for the Ottawa Senators in 2020-21.

The federation first reported he tested positive for the virus on Wednesday evening in a statement to state news agency Tass, saying he had been replaced on the 25-man list by Vladimir Tkachev and joined the taxi brigade.

“Artem Anisimov provided a negative test and spent the required time in quarantine at Novogorsk (training base) and joined the team today,” the team leader said. Ilya Kovalchuk said Thursday on the federation’s website.

The Russians are the defending champions after winning gold in Pyeongchang four years ago. They open the tournament on February 9 against Switzerland, and they also face the Czech Republic and Denmark as a group.

There was no information on when Anisimov tested positive or how long he spent in solitary confinement.

People who have recently been infected with the virus must submit five negative tests to enter China for the Olympics.

There have been five cases of the virus reported among Russian Olympic athletes this week, including one in figure skating, one in skeleton and two in the same bobsleigh crew.

Catherine J. Martinez