Ukrainian Hockey Player Given One-Year Ban From IIHF For Racial Incident

Andri Denyskin received a suspension after making a racial gesture in a game in September

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) handed out a one-year suspension to Ukrainian Hockey League's Andri Denyskin.

The suspension stems from an incident back in September where Denyskin directed a racial gesture towards Jalen Smereck, who is Black.

Denyskin, who plays on the UHL's HC Kremenchuk, made a motion towards HC Donbass' Smereck that mimicked peeling and eating a banana. Denyskin was ejected from the game and suspended for 13 games by the UHL for the incident.

"Racist gestures, comments or actions have absolutely no place in the game of ice hockey, or anywhere, for that matter,” IIIHF President Luc Tardif said in a statement. "Denyskin’s actions are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. While he has already served the suspension of thirteen games from his club team’s league play, the Deciding Panel has determined that a further period of suspension is required."

The 23-year-old forward is disqualified from participating in all IIHF-sanctioned events and all international competition as a result of the suspension.

According to the IIHF's statement, Denyskin acknowledged the gesture was wrong for him to make and that he had since apologized to Smereck.

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