NHL suspends Buffalo Sabres forward Zenon Konopka for 20 games

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Buffalo Sabres forward Zenon Konopka has been suspended 20 games by the NHL after he tested positive for a banned substance.

Konopka, 33, was claimed by the Sabres after being placed on waivers by the Minnesota Wild.

“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,” he said in a statement. “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,” Konopka said in a statement. “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.”

A unrestricted free agent, Konopka will likely have a harder time finding a new landing spot with a 20 game suspension hanging over him.