(CNN) — The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Washington Capitals forward 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 prohibited substance, I would be suspended from international competition for four decades,” Kuznetsov said in a declaration. “I’ve made the decision to accept this penalty. Representing my country has ever been so near my own heart and something I take pride inside. Not having the ability to put that sweater for four years is extremely tough to take.”
Kuznetsov is going to probably be ineligible for four years, with his suspension. He had been suspended on June 13.
“We are aware of the positive test result and related global sanction that has been imposed on Evgeny Kuznetsov,” the Washington Capitals said in a statement. “We’re disappointed with this growth and accept this phenomenon seriously.
“In addition, we’re dedicated to ensuring he has the essential support required to work through this circumstance.”
Cocaine isn’t thought to be a medication from the NHL and isn’t prohibited under the Performance Enhancing Substances Program of the NHL.
“We understand that Mr. Kuznetsov has sought help through the education and counselling program provided for at the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a normal testing protocol concerning his participation with that application,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
Daly claims that no conclusions are made on whether some further disciplinary actions are required, and that Kuznetsov has agreed to a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
“I have disappointed so many people who are important for me, like my family, teammates and buddies,” Kuznetsov said. “In the very first day I took the ice in D.C., the Washington Capitals company and our supporters have been nothing but great to me and my family. I feel absolutely awful for letting you all down. I realize that the only real way I could win you back is to take ownership of my situation as well as my activities from this point forward.”

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