- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2019

Four days after a video was posted to Twitter showing Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov sitting near lines of a white, powdery substance, the NHL has closed its investigation, saying it believes Kuznetsov did not use illegal drugs and punishment does not appear to be forthcoming.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, the Washington Capitals and Kuznetsov each released their own statements on the matter Friday morning.

According to the statements, Kuznetsov met in person with both the league office and the Capitals this week.

“While we certainly do not condone or endorse some of the decisions he made on the night in question, Mr. Kuznetsov’s account of the events that transpired aligns with other information we have been able to gather, and we have found no basis to question his representations with respect to what did — and did not — occur,” Daly’s statement read in part.

The Capitals said they were disappointed that Kuznetsov appeared in the video, which he said was shot in June in Las Vegas after the Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. But the Capitals “accept his explanation and apology for putting himself in an unfortunate situation.”

The following is Kuznetsov’s own statement:

“I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday. While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn.”

When the video was posted Monday, Kuznetsov gave a statement to a Russian news outlet saying that just because he was in the room, it didn’t mean he partook in any drugs, implicitly admitting the powder was cocaine. He claimed he left the room as soon as he could get someone to pick him up.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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