Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- Sabres forward Zenon Konopka has been suspended 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
Konopka spoke through statement with the NHLPA and took responsibility, "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."
The Sabres claimed Konopka off of waivers from Minnesota in early January and his contract is set to expire at the conclusion of this season. The term of the suspension will be served at the beginning of any new contract.
Konopka appeared in 23 games for the Sabres and recorded a goal and an assist during his tenure in Buffalo.