Evgeny Kuznetsov suspended four years by IIHF

Evgeny Kuznetsov suspended four years by IIHF

Davide Tuniz23 Aug 2019Davide Tuniz»

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov received the sentence after testing positive for cocaine in late May. NHL should not apply any sanctions.


The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced today that Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov will be suspended from international hockey for four years after testing positive for cocaine in late May. In a video recorded on May, shared on social networks, Kuznetsov is talking on the phone in a hotel room, and in front of him is a white powder on the table. On May 27, the player issued a statement stating that he had never taken drugs, saying the footage was taken after the Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory in 2018. The suspension is applied to all IIHF sanctioned competitions but will not affect the games he eventually will play with Capitals in NHL.

Same NHL released a statement today: "Unlike the IIHF, cocaine is not considered a performance enhancing drug and is therefore not a Prohibited Substance under the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Instead, it is considered a drug of abuse that is tested for and for which intervention, evaluation and mandatory treatment can occur in appropriate cases. Here, we understand that Mr. Kuznetsov has voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program. Mr. Kuznetsov has also agreed to an in-person meeting with Commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss his situation and review his conduct prior to the start of Training Camp preceding the 2019-20 season. We intend to reserve further comment on any additional actions that may or may not be taken with respect to today’s announcement (disciplinary or otherwise) pending the completion of the Commissioner’s meeting with Mr. Kuznetsov"

Also the player released, in accordance with his club, a short note, claiming: “Recently, the IIHF notified me that, due to a positive test for a banned substance, I would be suspended from international competition for four years. I have made the decision to accept this penalty. Representing my country has always been so close to my heart and something I take so much pride in. Not being able to put that sweater on for four years is very hard to take. I have disappointed so many people that are important to me, including my family, teammates and friends. From the first day I took the ice in D.C., the Washington Capitals organization and our fans have been nothing but great to me and my family. I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down. I realize that the only way I can win you back is to take ownership of my situation and my actions from this point forward.”

Margarita Pakhnotskaya, Deputy Director General of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), said that the hockey player took a standard penalty for violating paragraph 2.1. of the World Anti-Doping Code

IIHF President Renè Fasel commented about the possibility of appealing: “Kuznetsov can still appeal the decision, but I don’t know if that makes sense. He refused to open the B sample - this was his decision”

Also the Russian Hockey Federation (FHR) released a statement about the case: The Russian Hockey Federation has always opposed and will continue to oppose the use of prohibited substances in sports.In the national teams of the FHR system, activities are constantly held to clarify the need to comply with all anti-doping rules.Arriving on the team, athletes are under the constant supervision of specialists, therefore the use of prohibited substances in the location of the Russian team is excluded. The FHR will closely monitor the development of events and will take all necessary measures in accordance with the WADA Code, all-Russian anti-doping rules and IIHF requirements"

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