Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov Cleared by NHL After Video Showing White Powder

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), of Russia, stands on the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, March 22, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

The NHL has cleared Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov after a video of him sitting nearby two lines of white powder surfaced Monday.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly deemed the matter “formally closed” in a statement provided to TSN on Friday following an investigation:

“We have thoroughly reviewed the situation surrounding the video circulated on the internet this past Monday, May 27, and involving Capitals’ Player. 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.”

The league interviewed the 27-year-old Washington star as well as reviewing the video. 

Although he denied any illegal activity, Kuznetsov apologized in a statement:

“I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday. 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 his explanation:

“In addition to doing our own due diligence, we met with Evgeny to discuss the video circulated on social media. 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.”

Kuznetsov previously told Russian outlet Sport-Express (h/t the Washington Post) he has “never” used drugs and that the video dated back to the summer of 2018. He added that he left the room after seeing “an unclear substance on the table” and “unfamiliar women.”

Kuznetsov recorded 32 points in the postseason (12 goals and 20 assists) while helping Washington win its first-ever Stanley Cup in 2018. He is coming off a season in which he piled up 72 points, featuring 21 goals and 51 assists.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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