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Golden Knights' Valentin Zykov suspended 20 games for PED violation

Vegas Golden Knights forward Valentin Zykov (7) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, April 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Vegas Golden Knights left winger Valentin Zykov has been suspended 20 games for violating the NHL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

The NHL announced the suspension on Thursday, though it did not disclose what substance he tested positive for.

The Golden Knights confirmed Zykov's suspension, saying in a statement that he "knowingly used a banned substance without the consent, recommendation or knowledge of our team.

"We support the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program and respect the decision here," the team said.

George McPhee, the Golden Knights' president of hockey operations, told reporters the team learned about the positive test Wednesday, and that Zykov took a supplement they did not provide.

Zykov, 24, said in a statement issued by the players' union that he didn't know how he tested positive, but he would accept the suspension.

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"I want to apologize to my family, my teammates, and the Golden Knights organization and fans," he said. "I will work hard during my suspension to ensure that I put myself in the best possible position to contribute to my team when my suspension is over."

Zykov was claimed by the Golden Knights off waivers from Edmonton in December last year and has appeared in seven games this season, recording two assists.

It's the second such suspension handed to a Golden Knight in as many seasons.

Nate Schmidt was given a 20-game penalty last year for a violation. The team said at the time it would support Schmidt, who has since come out in favor of testing reform in the NHL.