Geneva, Aug 23 (AP/UNB) — Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov tested positive for cocaine at the world championship and has been banned from the Russia team for four years.
Kuznetsov failed a doping test after a sample was taken on May 26, the day Russia won the bronze medal game against the Czech Republic in Slovakia, the International Ice Hockey Federation said on Friday.
The previous day, Russia lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Finland.
The ban does not stop Kuznetsov playing in the NHL, which classifies cocaine as a drug of abuse rather than a performance-enhancing doping product.
"I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down," Kuznetsov said in a statement published by the NHL addressing Capitals owners and fans.
"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," said the 27-year-old player, who has six years left on a $62.4 million contract signed in 2017.
The NHL said Kuznetsov agreed to meet with commissioner Gary Bettman before training camp, and will undergo regular testing.
"Here, we understand that Mr. Kuznetsov has voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL and (players' union) collective bargaining agreement," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
Kuznetsov faced allegations of drug use at the world championship after a video posted on social media showed him talking to someone while lines of white powder and American dollar bills could be seen on the table. However, it was unclear when the clip was filmed.
Kuznetsov, who did not touch the powder in the soon-deleted video, said it was from 2018 in Las Vegas after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup with a standout performance from the Russian. He said it was a friend's hotel room and he soon left after seeing drugs there.
"I never took drugs, give me a drug test and I'll pass it," he told Russian media outlet Sport Express in May.
The NHL closed its review of the incident within days, saying it found no reason to question the player's explanation.
Russia's sports minister suggested the United States should take some blame for drug use by Kuznetsov, who made his Washington debut at age 21.
"It's not possible for us to control athletes who at a young age leave Russia for places with a completely different culture," minister Pavel Kolobkov said in a statement.
Kuznetsov's ban expires on June 12, 2023, the Zurich-based IIHF said.
The two-time world champion said he would "accept this penalty." He could have pursued an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
He is currently excluded from the 2022 Beijing Olympics and the next three world championships.
Though the NHL did not release players for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, the next Winter Games in China's capital city is a more attractive marketing prospect to justify shutting down league play for most of February.
Charlotte, Aug 23 (AP/UNB) — Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is "cautiously optimistic" Cam Newton will be ready for the Sept. 8 regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams after the quarterback suffered a left mid-foot sprain in a preseason game.
Newton injured his foot in Carolina's 10-3 loss Thursday night at New England on a sack.
Newton was trying to avoid pressure in the first quarter when he got tripped up and landed on the turf. He hobbled to the sideline and grimaced in pain on the bench before walking under his own power to the locker room.
The 2015 league MVP only played 11 plays and the Panthers gained just 29 yards. He was sacked twice.
Newton left the stadium in a walking boot and didn't address the media before boarding the team bus. He was playing in his first game since Dec. 17.
Newton struggled through shoulder issues last season, which limited his ability to throw downfield as the year progressed. By the end of the season Newton could barely throw more than 20 yards and the team would sub him out on Hail Mary passes. He missed the final two games of the season and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in January.
He was held out of the first two preseason games because the Panthers didn't want him to risk injury.
The Panthers don't have much experience at quarterback behind Newton.
Kyle Allen is second on the depth at quarterback, rookie third-round draft pick Will Grier is third and Taylor Heinicke fourth. They have just two NFL regular season starts between them.
Carolina's offense, which struggled in a Week 2 preseason loss to Buffalo, was abysmal against the Patriots, managing just 99 yards and seven first downs.
Newton played three series and was 4 of 6 for 30 yards and was sacked twice.
"Obviously, we hope that Cam is OK," Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said after the game. "On top of that, offensively, we were not very good. We didn't check any of our boxes as far as the third preseason game goes. We have been here before and we have had great third preseason games and bad third preseason games. I don't know how much correlation they have to how your season goes.
"But you just can't all of a sudden turn a switch and say we are going to be good now."
Paris, Aug 23 (AP/UNB) — Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson says American star Christian Coleman's case of missed doping tests can teach athletes to be more responsible.
Thompson, the women's 2016 Olympic gold medalist over 100 and 200 meters, says reports this week of Coleman missing three drug tests within 12 months "has opened a lot of us athletes' eyes."
Athletes must notify anti-doping authorities of their whereabouts for testing without notice each day.
Coleman, the world's fastest man this year, risks being banned from the world championships starting next month in Qatar and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Speaking in Paris ahead of a Diamond League meeting, Jamaica's Thompson says: "I think it is a learning lesson for us to be more responsible."
Noah Lyles, whose 200-meter rivalry with Coleman has been a track highlight this season, says the reports left him "shocked. You never expect to hear that from anybody, really."
Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) - Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team suffered their third defeat against touring Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) National Academy Women’s Hockey team by 0-3 goals in their 3rd match of the six-match series at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium on Friday.
Sakshi (13), Lalwan Puii (25) and Lalruatfeli Mesabi (40) scored one goal each for the Indian side.
Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team, which is now preparing for their maiden participation in the Women’s Junior (U-21) AHF Cup Hockey Qualifiers in Singapore on September 9–15, also conceded defeats in their previous two matches against the Indian team at the same venue.
President of Bangladesh Hockey Federation and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshall Masihuzzaman Serniabad witnessed the day’s match as chief guest and later handed over crests to both the participating teams.
Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Dr Mohammad Zafar Uddin was also present on the occasion.
Bangladesh Women’s Hockey team now playing a six-match series ahead of their maiden participation in the Women’s Junior (U-21) AHF Cup Hockey Qualifiers scheduled to be held in Singapore during September 9–15 this year.
The 4th match will be held on August 25 at 4 pm, 5th one on August 26 at 7 pm and the 6th and last match on August 28 at 4 pm, all at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium here.
Earlier, a 20-member SAI National Academy Women’s Hockey team arrived here on Monday to play six friendly matches with Bangladesh women’s hockey team.
Dhaka, Aug 23 (UNB) - Bangladesh team were eliminated from Recurve Junior Boys team in the ongoing World Archery Youth Championship.
The team comprises Shakib Mollah, Tamimul Islam and Hakim Ahmed Rubel lost to South Korean team comprises Kim Hyeonjong, Pil Joong Kim and Lee Jinyong by straight 0-6 set points in the quarterfinal at the Zona Sur University Sports Complex in Madrid of Spain on Friday.
The team are expected to return home on August 27.
Earlier, Bangladesh reach quarter final beating Jagdish Choudhary, Sachin Gupta and Ho Gora of India by 5-4 set points in the round of 8 and Julian Schweighofer, Noah Schoenfellner and Dieter Daxbock of Austria by 6-2 points in the round of 12 on Thursday at the same venue.