When a player gets banned from any sport because of a failed drug test, there are very few teams or sponsors that want to have anything to do with that player due to the risks involved. The New York Rangers and the Vegas Golden Knights are reported to be interested in signing Russian Winger Danis Zaripov who has been banned for a period of 2 years by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced that Zaripov sample had traces of category S6.b stimulant and category S5 diuretics that are often used as masking agents to hide other performance enhancers. Zaripov also received a ban from the KHL which prevented him from fulfilling his two year contract with Ak Bars.
NHL Clears Way For Zaripov
Although Zaripov is banned by the IIHF and the KHL, the National Hockey League (NHL) does not have to follow suit because the substance found in his sample ‘pseudoephedrine’ is not found on NHL’s banned list of substances. The NHL also reviewed his case and found that the Russian was not allowed to testify during his hearing and defend himself. Zaripov is now looking to sign up with a new league and it is quite possible that he will be picked up by one of the NHL franchises.
There are a number of NHL franchises who appear interested in the Russian winger who has had a great career till date. Zaripov has represented his country in four KHL Gagarin Cup championships and three world championships as well as the 2010 Olympics. He brings an immense wealth of experience to the table and his agent Dan Milstein stated that they were open to discussing possible NHL offers.
Vegas Knights manager McPhee has followed a philosophy of blending the teams he has managed in the past with young and experienced players as it allows new players to be mentored and trained. Should they sign Zaripov, he would be the second Russian player to join the franchise with the first being Vadim Shipachyov.
The New York Rangers need some extra firepower on the right as their left side is packed with good players and adding the experienced Zaripov could be a great move for the franchise.
Zaripov Maintains His Innocence
Zaripov went on record to thank the NHL for clearing him and maintained that he had never resorted to taking performance enhancers throughout his career. He has vowed to clear his name and has filed an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.