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NHL suspends Anaheim’s Shawn Horcoff 20 games for failing drug test – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 1st, 2016 by Ian

NHL suspends Anaheim’s Shawn Horcoff 20 games for failing drug test
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The NHL has handed a 20-game suspension to forward Shawn Horcoff of the Anaheim Ducks for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Horcoff will also have to be evaluated by the league’s Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health department and it will determine if he needs to undergo any type of treatment. Horcoff received the ban on January 25th and won’t be paid while he serves the punishment.

The 37-year-old tried to explain why he tested positive for a banned substance by releasing a press statement which said, “While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process. Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules that is no excuse whatsoever. I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program’s doctors. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry.”

Bob Murray, the general manager of the Ducks, signed Horcoff as an unrestricted free agent to a one-year contract last summer. Anaheim was knocked out of the Western Conference Finals in seven games by the Chicago Blackhawks last season and the Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup. Murray felt the club could benefit with some added veteran experience and that’s why Horcoff was brought in. However, the centre from Trail, British Columbia has just six goals and four assists in 45 games this season along with 30 penalty minutes.

Horcoff was originally drafted in the fourth round with the 99th-overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 1998. At the time of the suspension he had appeared in 994 career NHL games with 186 goals and 320 assists to his name for 506 points. He also has 29 points in 41 postseason contests. Murray said the Ducks fully support the NHL’s decision and will also support Horcoff both on and off the ice during the situation. According to the NHL, Horcoff will lose a total salary of $357,526.88 U.S. while serving the suspension.

The NHL has now suspended just four players under its drug policy program. The last player to be banned was forward Carter Ashton of the Toronto Maple Leafs when he was suspended in November of 2014 for 20 games for testing positive on a drug test. Ashton claimed that he borrowed somebody’s inhaler while suffering an asthma attack and he ingested a banned substance called clenbuterol while doing so. However, the Leafs traded him shortly after he served the suspension. The other two players to receive bans for performance-enhancing drug use were defenceman Sean Hill of the New York Islanders back in 2007 and forward Zenon Konopka of the Buffalo Sabres in 2014.

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