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Russian hockey star Kuznetsov receives 4-year ban for violating anti-doping rules

The case concerns a test indicating a prohibited substance, cocaine, the International Ice Hockey Federation's statement reads

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has banned Russian player Yevgeni Kuznetsov, who is a forward for NHL Washington Capitals, for the term of four years citing violations of anti-doping regulations, the IIHF announced in a statement on Friday.

"The IIHF has suspended Russian ice hockey player Yevgeni Kuznetsov for a violation of World Anti-Doping Code Article 2.1…," the statement reads. "The case concerns a test indicating a prohibited substance, cocaine, according to section S6.a (non-specified substance) of the World Anti-Doping Code 2019 Prohibited List."

According to the world’s governing ice hockey body, Kuznetsov’s doping sample, which tested positive for cocaine, was collected on May 26 during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia.

"The prohibited substance was found in a doping control which occurred on 26 May 2019 at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship," the IIHF stated. "The player didn’t require the analysis of his B-sample and was provisionally suspended on 13th June 2019. The period of ineligibility to be imposed shall be four years, concluding on 12th June 2023."

The IIHF’s four-year suspension means that the 27-year-old Russian ice hockey player, who is the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup winner, will banned from taking part in all matches supervised by the IIHF and KHL (Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League) and is most likely to skip the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China’s Beijing.

Kuznetsov joined NHL’s Washington Capitals in 2013 and booked in the previous regular season 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists) in addition to six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in the playoffs. Playing for the Russian national team, Kuznetsov is the two-time gold medalist (2012 and 2014) and three-time bronze medalist (2016, 2017, 2019) of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.