Andrei Markov hit with 18 month doping ban.

A very strange situation.


We have a bit of a weird situation to report here with a former long time veteran of the National Hockey League being hit with a pretty serious doping ban.

According to reports currently coming out of Russia, former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov has been hit with an 18 month doping ban for violating the terms of his agreement with RUSADA. RUSADA is the Russian Anti Doping Agency and is partnered with WADA, the World Anti Doping Agency, which handles the testing of high level athletes in international competitions. What makes this situation so bizarre is that Markov has quite obviously since retired as a professional player and even if he was taking performance enhancing drugs you would be very hard pressed to argue that he could reap any kind of competitive advantage from doing so.

Now to be clear here it does not appear at the time of this writing that there is any actual evidence of Markov using performance enhancing drugs, but instead it would appear as though he violated RUSADA's policy on testing. It remains unclear but there are reports indicating that Markov simply failed to report to the agency that he had retired and as a result failed to provide them with a number of mandatory test samples which in turn eventually led to him receiving the 18 month ban.

It may seem like no big deal on the surface given that Markov is no longer playing, but this ban has actually harmed his professional career already and could of course taint his public image. Markov had recently been hired to take on the role of assistant coach for Hockey Club Vityaz of the Kontinental Hockey League, a team he had previously played for earlier in his career during an NHL lockout, but was forced to step down from the role just days after being hired as a result of the ban now imposed against him by RUSADA.

At the end of the day it was Markov's personal responsibility to get things squared away with the agency, but I must admit I can't help but feel bad for the former NHLer considering that at the moment it would appear he wasn't looking to cheat in any way, shape or form.