Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov Suspended 4 Years by IIHF for Positive Cocaine Test

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - MAY 25: #92 Yevgeny Kuznetsov of Russia in action during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia semi final game between Russia and Finland at Ondrej Nepela Arena on May 25, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/Getty Images

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended from international competition by the International Ice Hockey Federation for four years after testing positive for cocaine at the 2019 IIHF World Championships, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

Per Kaplan, the IIHF revealed Friday that Kuznetsov "didn't require the analysis of his B-sample and was provisionally suspended on 13th June 2019."

The 27-year-old Russian will be eligible to return June 12, 2023.

Kuznetsov was at the center of controversy in May, when video of him sitting nearby two lines of white powder surfaced. He told Russian outlet Sport-Express (h/t the Washington Post) that he has "never" used drugs and that the video dated back to the summer of 2018.

The NHL investigated the situation and ultimately "found no basis to question his representations with respect to what did—and what did not occur."

When the investigation concluded, Kuznetsov issued a statement to publicly apologize while also denying ever doing illegal drugs:

"I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday. While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn."

Kuznetsov represented Russia since 2009, helping the senior team win two gold medals and three bronze medals at the World Championships. Russia finished third at the 2019 World Championships in Slovakia, with Kuznetsov tallying two goals and four assists in 10 games.

Kuznetsov had 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists) for Washington last season.

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