Russia says doping case against Nichushkin dropped


MOSCOW (AP) – A years-old doping case against Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin has been dropped by the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Russian Hockey Federation said on Tuesday.

The RHF said “the IIHF informed Nichushkin that all charges against the player have been dropped” and it would not attempt to suspend him. The RHF said this followed “the results of additional analyses” at a drug-testing laboratory in Switzerland.

The IIHF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nichushkin was one of the Avalanche’s top players on their Stanley Cup run last season. He then signed a $49 million, eight-year contract to remain with Colorado long term.

An IIHF sanction would not affect NHL eligibility.

In November 2021, RHF executive director Dmitry Kurbatov told Russian media the case originated with a sample Nichushkin gave in 2013. Kurbatov said the World Anti-Doping Agency obtained Nichushkin’s sample in 2019 from the closed Moscow lab and that a banned substance was found when it was reanalyzed.

In a July interview with Russian newspaper Sport-Express, Nichushkin said he was told that a test he gave while with Russian club Traktor Chelyabinsk allegedly contained a suspicious level of testosterone, and he was accused of links to a Russian doping cover-up scheme. He said he was fighting the allegations.