According to Metaratings.ru and sports.ru, the Russian national hockey team has reached an “agreement in principle” with the IIHF to reduce Washington Capitals’ center Evgeny Kuznetsov’s suspension and allow him to participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Kuznetsov is currently suspended from international play by the IIHF due to testing positive for a banned substance during the 2019 World Championship. His ban from the Russian national team was for four years and was supposed to last until June 12, 2023.
“The Russian National Team’s leadership, Alexei Zhamnov and Ilya Kovalchuk, is doing everything it possibly can to correctly resolve the situation with Kuznetsov. The Russian Hockey Federation has decided on this issue at the highest government level. There is an 80 percent chance that Kuznetsov will play at the Olympics,” a source told Russian outlet RIA Novosti last week.
Per RMNB’s Igor Kleyner, the Russian Team would have had to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to get the ban reduced. The CAS sports an anti-doping division of judges that oversee doping cases at the Olympic Games. Doping cases can be appealed to CAS’s ad hoc court in the Olympic host city before a Games is about to begin or to the permanent CAS body. The CAS handled 11 cases in relation to Russian doping before the 2016 Summer Olympics.
In February, Kuzy said, 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.”
The Olympic tournament will be played from February 9 through 20. ROC plays Team Switzerland on February 9, Denmark on February, and the Czech Republic on February 12.
It is important to note that this news is not official and according to the Russian reports formalities still need to be settled.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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