Vegas Golden Knights forward Valentin Zykov was suspended 20 games without pay for a violation of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program on Thursday.
When the announcement was made, the 24-year-old argued that he didn’t know what led to the failed PED test.
However when Golden Knights president George McPhee met with reporters, he revealed that, despite Zykov’s statement saying he’s unaware of how he tested positive for a banned substance, Zykov told him in a conversation on Wednesday that he knowingly took the substance, and has taken that sort of substance for four years.
This is causing quite a scene in Vegas as many believe the team has stabbed the young player in the back. Darren Dreger even reported on Thursday’s Insider Trading on TSN that the NHLPA was considering filing a grievance against the Knights.
“The Vegas Golden Knights aren’t trying to bury Valentin] Zykov. They do see a future within their organization. They did not back off a media-issued release earlier in the day, using the description that ‘yes, he knowingly took a banned substance.’ The player, the player’s agent, the players’ association refuted the terminology used in the Knights’ media statement, to a point, where the players’ association is currently contemplating filing a grievance against the Golden Knights for the way they issued that statement. Perhaps more to come, but Zykov will serve those 20 games.”
Anyways for now, the Golden Knights maintain their position. Zykov’s stall has been removed from the team’s dressing room.