BUFFALO, N.Y.- Buffalo Sabres forward Zenon Konopka has been suspended 20 games by the NHL/NHLPA for violating the terms of the league's Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
The Sabres have no comment on the suspension because it is a league matter.
Konopka's contract with the Sabres expires at the end of the 2013-2014 season. His suspension will be served upon the start of a new contract.
Konopka totaled one point in 23 games played with the Sabres.
Konopka released this statement on the NHL Players Association website:
"I deeply regret that I have tested positive for a prohibited substance in violation of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. I accept full responsibility for this error. As a professional athlete I am responsible for what I put in my body, and I am to blame for this mistake.
I want to make it clear that this violation occurred because I ingested a product that can be purchased over-the-counter and which, unknown to me, contained a substance that violated the program. Unfortunately, I did not take the necessary care to ensure that the product did not contain a prohibited substance. I want to stress, however, that I did not take this substance for the purpose of enhancing my athletic performance.
I apologize to my teammates and to the Buffalo Sabres organization, as well as to my friends and family. I have learned a great deal from this experience, something I hope to be able to share with younger players. I will accept this suspension and continue to work hard to prepare for the 2014-15 season."