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Doping case dropped against Russian NHL champion – federation

The IIHF has removed charges against Valeri Nichushkin of alleged anti-doping violations

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR) has announced that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has dropped charges of anti-doping rule violations against reigning Stanley Cup champion Valeri Nichushkin.

The FHR revealed in November last year that Nichushkin faced a doping allegation stemming from a sample that was given in 2013, and had been stored at a since-closed laboratory in Moscow.

The World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) obtained the sample in 2019, but the FHR announced on its website on Tuesday that any charges have been dropped against Nichushkin.

“The International Ice Hockey Federation will not initiate a suspension of Valeri Nichushkin for an anti-doping rule violation,” read a statement.

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“This became possible after the results of additional research by the Swiss Doping Laboratory. The IIHF notified Nichushkin that all charges against the player were dropped.

“The Russian Ice Hockey Federation will be glad to see Valeri in the national team after the team returns to the international arena”

Nichushkin, 27, was considered one of the Avalanche’s best players in their Stanley Cup Finals triumph in June as the team earned a third title in franchise history and a first since 2021. 

The Russian has begun the 2022/2023 season in strong form with a return of four goals and two assists in three appearances since signing an eight-year contract extension in July. 

On Monday night, he scored once and provided two assists for his teammates in a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Wild as the Avalanche improved to 2-1. 

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The Russian national team is currently banned from all international competitions by the IIHF because of the conflict in Ukraine, and Nichushkin faced a four-year ban if found guilty of doping.

Nichushkin played 23 games for Russia as a junior and featured as a senior at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2017 IIHF World Championships, where he took home a bronze medal.

However, he was among several Russian athletes prevented from competing at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), even though he had not been officially sanctioned for any rule breaches.  

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Reacting to news that he will be able to call on one of his star players in the near future, Russian national team coach Alexei Zhamnov expressed happiness with the outcome. 

“Valeri himself said that this whole story with an alleged violation of anti-doping rules is nonsense,” Zhamnov explained to RIA Sport. 

“They understood this, and therefore filed an appeal. Of course, we are glad that everything ended in this way, now we can close this topic.

“And for Nichushkin himself, this is very good, and for all of us,” Zhamnov added.

https://ift.tt/3IrOneM 18, 2022 at 08:24PM
from RT – Daily news

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