On Memorial Day, a video went viral on Reddit of Evgeny Kuznetsov sitting by a friend with two lines of a white powdery substance.
Kuznetsov denied he took any drugs that day with Sport-Express in a Russian language statement. Friday, he did so again in English in an email sent out by the Capitals.
Kuznetsov maintained that he’s “never taken illegal drugs in my life and career” and apologized for “putting myself in a bad situation.”
“I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday,” Kuznetsov said. “While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn.”
The Capitals accepted Kuznetsov’s explanation fully and it appears they will not pursue any punishment or recourse.
“In addition to doing our own due diligence, we met with Evgeny to discuss the video circulated on social media,” the Capitals said. “While we are disappointed by his presence in the video, we accept his explanation and apology for putting himself in an unfortunate situation. Evgeny has been a terrific player and an active member of our community, and we expect him to learn from this experience and uphold both the standards the organization has for him as well as his own.”
The NHL considers the matter closed.
“We have thoroughly reviewed the situation surrounding the video circulated on the internet this past Monday, May 27, and involving Capitals’ Player Evgeny Kuznetsov,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a separate statement. “Our review included, among other fact-finding steps, an in-person interview with Mr. Kuznetsov. While we certainly do not condone or endorse some of the decisions he made on the night in question, Mr. Kuznetsov’s account of the events that transpired aligns with other information we have been able to gather, and we have found no basis to question his representations with respect to what did — and what did not — occur. We consider the matter formally closed.”
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