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Former KHL player Danis Zaripov will attempt to continue his hockey career in North America after receiving approval from the NHL, despite being banned from the Russian league and international competition for doping. Zaripov released a statement through his agent, on Monday saying he was “grateful” for the NHL’s decision to let him pursue a contract.,
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, Dan Milstein
“I look forward to continuing my professional hockey playing career in North America, and today I am very grateful to the NHL for its decision, and I plan to continue my appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to clear my name.”,
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, which provides me the opportunity to do so. I want to assure you that throughout my career I have been extremely careful never to take prohibited substances
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, a 36-year-old winger,
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,” according to Sportsnet., was suspended two years by the International Ice Hockey Federation in July for doping. In announcing the ban,
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, the KHL said his samples “contained banned stimulants plus substances prohibited as diuretics and masking agents
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, including that its banned substances list isn’t the same as the one used by the World Anti-Doping Agency., the NHL announced that it would not uphold the KHL and IIHF’s suspension and made Zaripov an unrestricted free agent. The league said in a statement that it was doing so for several reasons
The NHL also cited “procedural irregularities in the adjudication process that may have resulted in prejudicing the Player’s case and affecting the IIHF’s decision” and Zaripov’s “lengthy career in both professional and international hockey” without ever testing positive for doping as reasons to approve his application.
recording 227 points in 229 games. He had a very strong 2017 postseason with 15 goals and seven assists in 18 games as his team reached the KHL’s finals.,Zaripov could command interest from NHL teams looking for veteran help on the wing. He’s been one of the most productive players in the KHL over the past few seasons with Metallurg Magnitogorsk
On the international side, Zaripov played for Team Russia at the 2010 Olympics, however.,
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, and has been a regular contributor at the World Championships. He won’t be eligible for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang as a result of his suspension
That makes going to the NHL,
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,which isn’t participating in the Olympics anyway,
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,and now it’s come to a different conclusion regarding Zaripov’s eligibility.,
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, an obvious answer considering many other leagues operate under the same rules as WADA and the IIHF. The NHL has gone its own way to combat doping, though
Sportsnet mentions the New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights as teams that could pursue Zaripov. The Rangers don’t have a ton of cap space but could use another scoring winger if they’re moving J.T. Miller to full-time center. The Golden Knights already added one KHL star this summer in Vadim Shipachyov and could decide to find room for another.
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