Ex-Tampa Bay forward Gusev gets doping ban in Russia

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MOSCOW (AP) — A veteran forward who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars has been banned for breaking doping rules in the latest doping case to hit Russian hockey.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement Wednesday that Sergei Gusev received a six-month ban from the Russian Hockey Federation for an unspecified "breach of anti-doping rules."

Gusev's ban is backdated to March 23, the same month as he played in the first round of the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs for Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.

The 40-year-old Gusev started his professional career in 1992. He spent four seasons in the NHL between 1997 and 2001, first in Dallas and then in Tampa Bay, playing 89 games and scoring four goals and 10 assists.

In 2012, Gusev played on a KHL team, Avangard Omsk, which was hit by doping scandal when defenseman Anton Belov was banned for doping during the Gagarin Cup final. Belov, who served a three-month suspension, went on to play for the Edmonton Oilers.

A separate doping case in 2013 saw Ilya Solaryov, then of KHL team Barys Astana, banned by the International Ice Hockey Federation after he tested positive for banned substance salbutamol while with the Kazakhstan national team.

Doping was also alleged by Russian law enforcement to be a possible factor in the death of Avangard wing and New York Rangers first-round draft pick Alexei Cherepanov, who collapsed during a KHL game in 2008 and died the next day. The league eventually suspended five team executives and doctors for what it ruled were failures in their handling of a heart condition which apparently affected Cherepanov, rather than a case of doping.

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