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NHL star suspended for submitting fake Covid vaccine card

Canadian ice hockey player Evander Kane has been suspended from the National Hockey League (NHL) for submitting a fake Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

The San Jose Sharks player was suspended for 21 games of NHL, a North American ice hockey league where teams from the US and Canada participate, for an “established violation” of the league’s Covid-19 protocol.

“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL Covid protocols,” Kane said in a statement released by the NHL players’ association.

“I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for,” he further said. “During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counselling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”

Kane will not receive any pay for the remaining games and will forfeit about $1.68m (£1.22m) of his $7m (£5m) salary for the season, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

He will be eligible to play only on 30 November, against the New Jersey Devils.

The suspension came at a time when the San Jose Sharks forward was already under investigation after his estranged wife, Anna Kane, accused him of sexual and domestic assault in a recent divorce filing.

But the NHL said on Monday that “its concurrent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife could not be substantiated.”

This is the sixth suspension for Kane in his 12-year career. He has been suspended for aggressive behaviour with officials and for violating rules of the game earlier.