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23 Aug, 2019 15:58

'I feel absolutely terrible’: Russian NHL star Kuznetsov on 4-year cocaine ban

'I feel absolutely terrible’: Russian NHL star Kuznetsov on 4-year cocaine ban

Russian ice hockey star Evgeny Kuznetsov has said he feels “absolutely terrible” after being slapped with a four-year national team ban imposed by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for a failed drug test.

On Friday, the international hockey governing body revealed that Kuznetsov’s doping probe taken at the 2019 IIHF World Championships had tested positive for cocaine.

READ MORE: Russian NHL star Kuznetsov handed 4-year ban for positive cocaine test

The Washington Capitals forward, who accepted the penalty, said he was sorry to disappoint his fans and family, adding that the inability to wear the Russian jersey for four years will be tough for him.

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,” Kuznetsov said.

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," he added.

The Washington Capitals said in a statement released on Friday that they are “disappointed with this development and take this occurrence seriously."

The club stressed that they will cooperate with the NHL to “determine the next steps” in resolving the controversial issue. The IIHF ban does not cover NHL games.

Also on rt.com ‘Not in love with the coco?’ NHL star Kuznetsov denies drug use as ‘cocaine’ video appears online