(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, because of a positive test for a banned substance, I would be suspended from international competition for several decades,” Kuznetsov said in a statement. “I’ve made the choice to accept this penalty. Representing my country has ever been near my heart and something that I take much pride in. Not being able to put that sweater on for a long time is quite tough to take.”
Kuznetsov will be ineligible for four years, together with his suspension concluding on June 12, 2023. He was suspended on June 13.
“We know of the positive test outcome and related international sanction that has been imposed on Evgeny Kuznetsov,” that the Washington Capitals mentioned in a declaration. “We’re disappointed with this development and accept this phenomenon seriously.
“In addition, we’re committed to ensuring that he has the necessary support necessary to operate through this circumstance.”
Cocaine isn’t thought to be a performance-enhancing medication from the NHL and is not prohibited under the NHL’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
“We know that Mr. Kuznetsov has sought help during the instruction and counseling program provided for at the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a normal testing protocol concerning his participation with that program,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
Daly states that Kuznetsov has agreed to a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on whether some additional disciplinary actions are demanded and that no decisions have been made.
“I have disappointed so many people that are important for me, including my family, teammates and friends,” Kuznetsov said. “From the first day that I took the ice in D.C., ” the Washington Capitals organization and our fans are nothing but great for me and my loved ones. I feel awful for letting you down. I realize that the only way I will win back you is to take possession of my situation and my actions from this point forward.”

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