Golden Knight Valentin Zykov has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NHL’s PED policy.
The Vegas Golden Knights issued the following statement regarding the suspension:
We were notified by the NHL and NHLPA that Valentin has violated the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. We monitor the nutrition, supplement intake, and overall diet of our athletes on a continual basis throughout our entire season. Valentin knowingly used a banned substance without the consent, recommendation or knowledge of our team. We support the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program and respect the decision here.
As we said mentioned previously, Zykov was playing on the third line with Cody Eakin and Cody Glass. Brandon Pirri played on the third line to begin the season, though he was considered a healthy scratch against the Nashville Predators. With Zykov out for 20 games, Pirri could be a more permanent fixture on the third line.
During a press conference on Thursday, President of Hockey Operations George McPhee stated that Zykov has been knowingly using that supplement for the past four years.
“We found out yesterday,” McPhee said. “We were completely in the dark until that point. Obviously this takes a while to percolate, but we seem to be the last to know.”
Zykov released a statement of his own following the suspension announcement:
Zykov will be out until late November.