Evgeny Kuznetsov is on hot water after testing positive for cocaine during May's world championships. The Washington Capitals center received a hefty four-year suspension from the International Ice Hockey Federation. He will be entering a drug counseling program for rehab. 

The 27-year-old Russian player is banned from entering any international tournaments until June 23, 2023. He won't be able to gear up for the 2022 Olympics should the NHL permit its players to attend. 

In a statement, Kuznetsov said that he accepts the sanctions and is disappointed with his actions. 

In a statement released by Capitals, Kuznetsov said he accepts the penalty. "Representing my country has always been so close to my heart... I take so much pride in." 

He continued that not being able to suit up for four years would be very hard to take. Kuznetsov acknowledges that he has "disappointed so many people," including his "family, teammates and friends."

He also thanked his fans, saying: "the Washington Capitals organization and our fans have been nothing but great to my family and me." The  Chelyabinsk, Russia native also added that he realizes that he must own up to his mistakes to take back ownership of his situation. 

The NHL did not impose any sanctions on the 27-year-old center. The league's deputy commissioner, Bill Daly said that the NHL had been informed that Kuznetsov has "voluntarily sought help." 

He added that Kuznetsov would be entering a counseling program rendered for the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.

Daly also said that unlike the IIHF, cocaine use is not considered a performance-enhancing drug. Therefore it is not a Prohibited Substance following the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program."

The NHL Deputy Commissioner further explained that Evgeny’s situation is considered as a drug of abuse that is tested for and evaluated for which intervention. Mandatory treatment can happen in appropriate cases," quipped Daly. 

The NHL said that they intend to bespeak further comments on any actions that may or may not be taken with today's current announcement. The commissioner would still be meeting with Mr. Kuznetsov to discuss further details. 

At the world championships, Kuznetsov played a vital role for his motherland. He gave two goals and four assists in 10 games to help Russia win the bronze medal. He had a total of 21 goals and 72 points with the Washington Capitals in the regular season. 

In May, a photo trended on Twitter showing Kuznetsov in a room with a white substance laden in a table. The footage was since taken down, Kuznetsov told Russian media that he entered the room in Las Vegas last year and left as he saw substance. He strongly reiterated that he did not take the drugs. 

The team on Friday rallied to support the troubled center. In a statement, the Capitals said that they are "committed to ensuring he has the essential support required to work through this situation."