Evgeny Cokenetsov in NHL Substance Abuse Counseling After 4 Year IIHF Suspension
Evgeni Kuznetsov was suspended by the International Ice Hockey Federation after failing a drug test. Kuznetsov tested positive for cocaine. The same substance that was alleged to be in this viral video that leaked out just a few months ago.
He is not allowed to represent his native country Russia for 4 years.
The Washington Capitals, who most likely were made aware of the situation before the IIHF's announcement today took a back seat to the NHL to make a decision as Kuznetsove had already sought help for substance abuse.
The Caps in conjunction with Cokenetzov released the following statement:
"We are aware of the positive test result and related international sanction that has been imposed on Evgeny Kuznetsov. We are disappointed with this development and take this occurrence seriously. We understand that Evgeny has voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program. In addition, we are committed to ensuring he has the necessary support required to work through this situation. We will remain in contact with the NHL as they determine the next steps. Because of the sensitive nature surrounding this matter, there will be no further comment from us at this time."
Cokenetsov followed with:
"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."
We obviously hope for the best for Evgeny, said no other metropolitan team...
But we mean it! Good luck buddy!