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MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Russian ice hockey player Danis Zaripov told TASS on Friday that he filed an appeal with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his suspension, imposed last month over violation of anti-doping regulations.
Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) announced over two weeks ago that the doping sample of three-time World Champion Zaripov tested positive for prohibited performance enhancing substances. He was suspended by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for the period of two years, until May 22, 2019.
"We have filed an appeal with the CAS," Zaripov said in an interview with TASS. "A positive verdict in the case for me would be equal to winning the Gagarin Cup."
The Gagarin Cup is the trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the KHL playoffs and Zaripov packs a total of four Cups winning them in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2016.
Russia’s 36-year-old forward Zaripov signed in July a deal on his transfer from KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk club to Ak Bars hockey club, where, according to the contract, Zaripov intended to play for the next two seasons.
However, the hockey club from the Russian republic of Tatarstan’s capital Kazan, Ak Bars, announced on Wednesday that it terminated its contract with Zaripov.
In an interview with TASS in late July, IIHF President Rene Fasel said that the international federation would not change the two-year suspension term, but the Russian player had the right to turn to the CAS and appeal the decision made by the world’s ice hockey governing body.
The IIHF chief also said that the fight against doping would remain as one of the priorities of the world’s governing body of ice hockey and Zaripov’s case would serve as a warning against doping for other players.
Last week, Zaripov announced it was possible that he would continue his career in the US-based National Hockey League (NHL).
Zaripov’s disqualification, imposed by the IIHF, is not in force in the NHL, since the US-based league has no binding agreements with the world’s governing body of ice hockey.
However, according to previous reports from Russia’s Sport-Express daily, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issued recommendations to all clubs in the league against inking contracts with the Russian hockey player.