NHL approves KHL player banned for doping

danis zaripov nhl khl

Danis Zaripov will attempt to join the NHL as a free agent after being banned from the KHL and international competition for doping. Zaripov released a statement saying he was “grateful” for the NHL’s decision to let him pursue a contract in North America.

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, 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, and I plan to continue my appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport to clear my name.

The 36-year-old winger was suspended two years by the International Ice Hockey Federation in July because his samples contained banned stimulants plus substances prohibited as diuretics and masking agents. 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, including that its banned substances list isn’t the same as the one used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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Zaripov has accumulated 227 points in 229 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. He had a great 2017 postseason with 15 goals and 7 assists in 18 games when his team reached the KHL’s finals.

The New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights are interested in acquiring Zaripov. The Rangers need a scoring winger with a low cap hit. The Golden Knights added KHL star Vadim Shipachyov, and want to add another one.

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