Russia's Kuznetsov gets four-year
IIHF ban after cocaine test
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[August 24, 2019]
By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The International
Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Friday it had suspended Russian
national team player Evgeny Kuznetsov for four years for testing
positive for cocaine.
Kuznetsov, who plays for the Washington Capitals in North America's
National Hockey League (NHL), said he accepted his suspension.
"Representing my country has always been so close to my heart and
something I take so much pride in," Kuznetsov said in a statement on
the team's website.
"Not being able to put that sweater on for four years is very hard
The NHL and the IIHF operate under different anti-doping rules.
Cocaine is not considered a performance-enhancing drug by the NHL,
and Kuznetsov's suspension will affect only his ability to play at
international competitions such as the Olympic Games and world
"It is considered a drug of abuse that is tested for and for which
intervention, evaluation and mandatory treatment can occur in
appropriate cases," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a
Kuznetsov had "voluntarily sought help through the education and
counseling program" available at the league and agreed to submit
himself to regular drug testing, Daly said.
The IIHF said the substance was detected during a doping control in
May at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia.
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Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) smiles against the
Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James
Guillory-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
A video allegedly showing Kuznetsov sitting next to unidentified
lines of white powder was posted online in May. It was not
immediately clear whether his positive doping test and the episode
The Capitals said in a statement they were "disappointed with this
development and take this occurrence seriously."
The Russian hockey federation said it opposed the use of banned
Kuznetsov scored 21 goals and had 51 assists last season. He won the
Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018.
The ban will run until June 12, 2023, the IIHF said.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Polina Ivanova; Editing
by Mike Harrison)
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