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NHL's statement on Kuznetzov's positive drug test; he will attend counseling

august 23, 2019
The NHL's Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, has released a full statement regarding Washington Forward Evgeny Kuznetzov's ban from international play by the IIHF after testing positive for cocaine. The full statement reads:

“We have been fully briefed by the IIHF with respect to the positive test result and related international sanction that has been imposed on Washington Capitals’ Player Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“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.”


Kuznetzov will not be able to play for team Russia at the World Championship for four years after the positive test. It is also believed that includes the Winter Olympics, should NHL players be allowed to attend in 2022.

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