Vladislav Tretiak, the president of the Russian Hockey Federation, confirmed that Evgeny Kuznetsov will not play in the 2022 Winter Olympics after some aspirational talk Kuzy’s four-year ban from the IIHF could be ended early.
Kuznetsov was suspended from international competition for testing positive for cocaine in the summer of 2019. His ban will keep him out of the Beijing Olympics and the upcoming World Championships.
Tretiak made the news on Tuesday after being asked by Sport-Express if there was any hope the high-scoring center would be shown leniency by the IIHF for the Olympic games in February.
“That would be great,” Tretiak said as translated by Igor Kleyner. “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do. We tried but were told right away that’s not possible.”
It’s unclear if Russia spoke to the IIHF through back channels or formally appealed.
Tretiak then pivoted his answer to his own struggles after being banned from going to any events in any official capacity due to Russia’s WADA ban.
In February, Kuznetsov suggested that he could appeal the IIHF’s ruling after Roman Rotenberg, vice president of the Russian Hockey Federation, said that Russia will “always fight for our players. We will consult with our lawyers.”
Kuzy responded, via Sport24, “I have my agents and my lawyers. At the right time, they will talk to whoever they need to and will understand the situation. If FHR helps, that will mean a lot because without them nothing will happen. If they succeed, our team will gain a center who hopefully can still play.”
Alas, the punishment will hold and Kuznetsov is definitely, surely, totally 100 percent out of the 2022 Olympics that NHL players may or may not actually participate in.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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