|(9/6/18) Schmidt issued a statement through the NHL Players' Association, asserting that he feels he's been wrongfully accused of violating the league's anti-drug policy, which resulted in a 20-game suspension that was ultimately upheld after an appeal from an independent arbitrator, Katie Strang of The Athletic reports.|
The burgeoning defenseman, who is fresh off career highs with the Golden Knights, including five goals and 31 assists, vehemently denies any wrongdoing. "Not only did I not intentionally take a banned substance, I could not have received any performance enhancement benefit from the trace amount that inadvertently got into my system at a level that was far too small to have any effect," Schmidt said in the statement. "This low amount was consistent with environmental contamination that I could not possibly have prevented." This is an important issue because it calls into question the validity of select drug testing policies, and changes could be in order when the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement is ultimately modified.