USATSI_9027455_154158418_lowresAnaheim Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff has been suspended 20 games without pay for a violation of the NHL and NHLPA’s Performance Enhancing Substances program. The suspension was announced on Tuesday.

Along with the suspension, Horcoff was referred to the NHL and NHLPA’s program for substance abuse and behavioural health for an evaluation session and possible treatment.

“This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff. The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA performance enhancing substances program,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process. We will have no further comment at this time.”

“While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process,” Horcoff said in a released statement. “Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules that is no excuse whatsoever. I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program’s doctors.”

Horcoff becomes the first player to be suspended under provisions of the substance abuse program since Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton received a 20-game ban after failing a drug test. Ashton had inadvertently ingested the prohibited substance clenbuterol after using someone else’s asthma inhaler.

Horcoff is the fourth player suspended under the policy in its history, with Ashton, Zenon Konopka and Sean Hill also suspended.

As you might be able to imagine, details and terms of the suspension are pretty open and shut. Horcoff will give up $357,526.88 in salary and is currently eligible to return toward the latter half of March.

The Ducks signed him in July of 2015 and he has a goal and four assists in 45 games with the club. The 37-year-old has 15 years of experience at the NHL level with the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Ducks. He has 506 career points, including 186 goals, over the course of 994 regular season games.

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