Ilya Kovalchuk Continues Efforts To Try And Lift Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Suspension From International Play In Time For Upcoming Olympics

Photo: @Capitals

Former Washington Capitals forward and current manager of the Russian national hockey team, Ilya Kovalchuk, has been busy preparing for the upcoming Olympics in February. As part of his duties as manager of the National team, Kovalchuk is leading the charge to lift Evgeny Kuznetsov’s current suspension by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

“We are working on this very closely. If there is specific news, and it will be possible to resolve the issue so that Evgeny plays at the Olympics, this will be announced by the head coach or through the Federation. Everything is in progress now,” Kovalchuk told

“Kuznetsov is one of the candidates for the national team, one of the leaders of our team. Of course we would very much like to see Evgeny in Beijing, and indeed, for him to play for the Russian national team.”

Kovalchuk said that representatives from several entities are working together to reach a resolution.

“I hope that by universal forces, together with the Federation, lawyers and representatives of the NHL Players Association, we can achieve a positive result. But for now there are no specifics, yet,” added Kovalchuk. “I don’t even want to talk about chances. We are just dealing with this very important issue for us. If there is news, we’ll tell you right away.”

The IIHF originally suspended Kuznetsov for a violation of World Anti-Doping Code Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance). The case centered on a test that indicated a prohibited substance, cocaine, violating section S6.a (non-specified substance) of the World Anti-Doping Code 2019 Prohibited List.

The prohibited substance was found in a doping control test which was conducted on May 26, 2019 at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Kuznetsov was subsequently banned from international competition for a period of four years.

Regardless of the outcome of Kuznetsov’s appeal, Kovalchuk, like the rest of the world, realizes that participation in the Olympics is still somewhat uncertain.

“There are always risks. Look – in Japan, the final of the Grand Prix in figure skating was canceled. And a new strain of the virus has appeared in the world, and everyone is worried. But we are all in the same situation. We will wait until January 10, when the NHL should finally decide on its participation.”

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Ilya Kovalchuk Continues Efforts To Try And Lift Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Suspension From International Play In Time For Upcoming Olympics

  1. steven says:

    LMAO…..let them mad do his time and teach him a lesson. Some people have to learn the hard way. HE is doing much better this year so keep the suspension and let that be something he works for and remembers why he received it! Tell Kovalchuk to stop looking for what is good for his team and look at what is best for the man!

    • Anonymous says:

      While I follow your logic, the problem in this particular situation is the fact that the Olympics only occur every four years. His suspension would end next year, so what is really gained by the extra year. This may be his only real chance to participate in the Olympics as he will be 34 the next time they roll around.

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