Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov banned from international play for four years after he tested positive for cocaine

    Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals has been suspended from international play for testing positive for cocaine.

    (CNN)The International Ice Hockey Federation has suspended Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov for testing positive for cocaine.

    The drug is banned under the World Anti-Doping Code.
    "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," Kuznetsov said in a statement. "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."
      Kuznetsov will be ineligible for four years, with his suspension concluding on June 12, 2023. He was provisionally suspended on June 13.
      "We are aware of the positive test result and related international sanction that has been imposed on Evgeny Kuznetsov," the Washington Capitals said in a statement. "We are disappointed with this development and take this occurrence seriously.
      "In addition, we are committed to ensuring he has the necessary support required to work through this situation."
      Cocaine is not considered a performance-enhancing drug in the NHL and is not prohibited under the NHL's Performance Enhancing Substances Program.