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Russian ice hockey club Ak Bars terminates contract with suspended forward Zaripov

Danis Zaripov is currently under a suspension term for violation of anti-doping regulations

MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. Russian ice hockey club Ak Bars has terminated a contract with forward Danis Zaripov, who is currently under a suspension term for violation of anti-doping regulations, his agent Yury Nikolayev told TASS on Wednesday.

Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) announced 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.

"Considering all of the current circumstances Zaripov’s contract with Ak Bars has been terminated," Nikolayev said in an interview with TASS.

Russia’s 36-year-old forward Zaripov signed in July a deal on his transfer from KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk club to Ak Bars, where, according to the contract, Zaripov intended to play for the next two seasons.

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. 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.