Dryden McKay, winner of Hobey Baker award as top NCAA men’s hockey player, suspended for six months for doping violation

Dryden McKay, the Minnesota State goaltender who won this year’s Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player, has accepted a six-month ban from competition for an anti-doping rule violation, according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The suspension period began on April 14, when he accepted the sanction. McKay played his last NCAA game for the Mavericks on April 9, losing 5-1 in the Frozen Four National Championship Game against Denver.

“This experience has been a very unexpected and difficult affair for me and my family,” McKay said in a statement. “I remain optimistic and look forward to starting my professional career in the fall.”

McKay told ESPN he was notified on February 1 that a urine sample taken on January 23 had returned a positive test for ostarine, a muscle-building drug that is not FDA-approved. and is considered a Prohibited Substance by the USADA Protocol for Olympic Games and Paralympic Movement Testing, the National Anti-Doping Policy of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and the Anti-Doping Rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The amount was trillionths of a gram, which McKay said provided no direct performance benefit.

The 24-year-old goaltender was undergoing a drug test after being named an alternate player for the 2022 United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team for the Beijing Games. McKay’s services were ultimately not needed.

McKay suspected that the ostarine might have come from one of the supplements he had taken. He shipped them all off to a lab for testing. He said ostarine was found in an allegedly “all-natural” vitamin D3 immune booster he had been taking for 10 days during the outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

“During USADA’s investigation of the circumstances of the case, USADA received results from a WADA-accredited laboratory that a supplement McKay was using prior to sample collection, who did not mention Ostarine on the Supplement Facts label, was contaminated with this substance at an amount consistent with the circumstances of ingestion and his positive test. The Code offers the possibility of a substantial reduction in the suspension otherwise applicable in this circumstance,” USADA said in its ruling.

Because McKay was able to establish the source of the contamination, an arbitrator lifted his suspension on Feb. 3 until a final USADA decision is made. The NCAA and Minnesota State Athletics have been made aware of the situation. The NCAA issued its own ruling that McKay was eligible to complete his senior season with the Mavericks, leading them to the school’s first Division I Men’s Hockey Frozen Four Championship appearance.

“I knew (the decision) was going to be made after the season, just because of the schedule,” McKay said.

In the process, he won the Hobey Baker Award, having set NCAA records with 37 wins and 34 shutouts this season.

He then accepted the six-month suspension on the advice of his lawyer, Paul Greene.

“Generally, the range (for unintentional ingestion) is between four and eight months or between four and ten months, depending on the situation,” Greene told Sportsnet. “They offered him six months, which is a lot of cases I’ve been involved in. He had a decision to make whether he wanted to accept the six months or show up for a hearing. We just decided that it was It made the most sense to agree to the six-month ban. Let the process begin now that his season is over.

McKay had decided he would turn pro after this NCAA season. He was not selected in the NHL draft and is a free agent. He told ESPN during the Frozen Four that NHL teams haven’t chased him because he’s only 5-foot-11, at a time when goalies who physically fill the net are preferred. USADA’s decision further complicates his schedule for a first professional season.

“I’m still trying to figure out (my future), and hopefully soon,” McKay said. “October 11 is the next game I can play, and I can start training in August.”

Catherine J. Martinez