(CNN) — The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Washington Capitals ahead Evgeny Kuznetsov for testing positive for cocaine.
The drug is banned under the World Anti-Doping Code.
“Lately, the IIHF notified me that, due to a positive test for a prohibited substance, I would be suspended from international competition for four years,” Kuznetsov said in a declaration. “I’ve made the decision to accept this penalty. Representing my country has been really close to my own heart and something that I take inside pride. Not being able to put that sweater on for four years is extremely tough to take.”
Kuznetsov will be ineligible for four years, with his suspension. He was provisionally suspended on June 13.
“We know of the positive test result and associated global sanction that has been enforced on Evgeny Kuznetsov,” that the Washington Capitals mentioned in a declaration. “We are disappointed with this development and accept this occurrence seriously.
“Additionally, we’re dedicated to ensuring he has the necessary support needed to operate through this situation.”
Cocaine is not prohibited under the Performance Enhancing Substances Program of the NHL and isn’t regarded as a medication from the NHL.
“We understand that Mr. Kuznetsov has sought help through the instruction and counselling program provided for at the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement, and it has agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
Daly claims that Kuznetsov has agreed to a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on whether any disciplinary actions are required and that no decisions are made.
“I have disappointed so a lot of people who are important to me, including my loved ones, teammates and buddies,” Kuznetsov said. “In the very first day that I took the ice in D.C., ” the Washington Capitals company and our fans are nothing but great for me and my family. I feel absolutely awful for letting you all down. I realize that the only real way I will win back you would be to take possession of my situation and my actions from this point forward.”
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