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Bryans win record 13th Grand Slam doubles title

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Bryans win record 13th Grand Slam doubles title

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Mike and Bob Bryan have set one more record together as a doubles team - and this may be the most special of them all.

The identical twins became the most decorated doubles team in Grand Slam history by winning their 13th major title at the Australian Open on Saturday, beating the unseeded Dutch pair of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4 in 53 minutes.

The 34-year-old Americans had been tied with the Australian greats John Newcombe and Tony Roche with 12 major titles.

``To be a part of history is pretty special,'' Mike Bryan said. ``We weren't thinking about it much out there, but now that we have it, it's going to be fun to look back on our career and say we have the most Grand Slams.''

After converting their third match point, the brothers jumped in the air and bumped chests and then clapped their hands on their rackets to the several hundred fans who stayed in Rod Laver Arena after the women's singles final.

They were so excited about the historic win, they gave high-fives to some fans after the match, including one man wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey who had covered the letter T in Kobe Bryant's last name so it read ``Bryan.''

Sijsling joked during the trophy presentation that he had lost count of how many titles the brothers had won.

``It's probably 15,'' he said. ``What is it?''

Haase then remarked, ``I still don't know who's who.''

The Bryans have won each major tournament at least once, but they play their best tennis Down Under - they now have six Australian Open titles to go along with four at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the French.

``I think we're so successful at this tournament because we spent the offseason mainly in the same spot working toward the new year,'' Mike Bryan said. ``We come into these tournaments with momentum.''

The list of the brothers' accomplishments and records keeps growing. They've been ranked No. 1 in doubles for eight of the past 10 years. They've won at least one Grand Slam title for a record nine consecutive years. They've won a record 84 titles together overall.

Last year, they captured a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics - one of the only major awards they had yet to win.

Having achieved so much, they were asked how they maintain their enthusiasm to keep playing a full tournament schedule. Last year, they played 73 matches together.

``As far as records, there's not much'' left to achieve, Bob Bryan said. ``But like we've told you before, we're competitors. We hate to lose. We want to finish No. 1.''

His brother said keeping up their energy levels is the only tough part.

``A lot of sugar before the matches,'' he said.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov accepts IIHF suspension for cocaine while Capitals, NHL lay out next steps

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Evgeny Kuznetsov accepts IIHF suspension for cocaine while Capitals, NHL lay out next steps

After news broke of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s four-year suspension by the IIHF for testing positive for cocaine, the Capitals center released a statement Friday accepting the suspension and expressing his regret for the situation 

Said Kuznetsov:

"Recently, the IIHF notified me that, due to a positive test for a banned substance, I would be suspended from international competition for four years. I have made the decision to accept this penalty. Representing my country has always been so close to my heart and something I take so much pride in. Not being able to put that sweater on for four years is very hard to take. I have disappointed so many people that are important to me, including my family, teammates and friends. From the first day I took the ice in D.C., the Washington Capitals organization and our fans have been nothing but great to me and my family. I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down. I realize that the only way I can win you back is to take ownership of my situation and my actions from this point forward."

The question now is what happens next?

Both the Capitals and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also released statements on Friday saying that Kuznetsov “has voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement and has agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program.”

In addition, Kuznetsov will meet with commissioner Gary Bettman “to discuss his situation and review his conduct prior to the start of Training Camp preceding the 2019-20 season.”

While the positive test has resulted in a four-year suspension with the IIHF, it is unclear if any such discipline will be levied on Kuznetsov by the NHL.

Said Daly, “Unlike the IIHF, cocaine is not considered a performance-enhancing drug and is therefore not a Prohibited Substance under the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.  Instead, it is considered a drug of abuse that is tested for and for which intervention, evaluation and mandatory treatment can occur in appropriate cases.”

Daly left the door open for NHL discipline as he concluded, “We intend to reserve further comment on any additional actions that may or may not be taken with respect to today’s announcement (disciplinary or otherwise) pending the completion of the Commissioner’s meeting with Mr. Kuznetsov.”

The Capitals, meanwhile, expressed support for Kuznetsov saying “we are committed to ensuring he has the necessary support required to work through this situation.”

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Evgeny Kuznetsov receives IIHF suspension after testing positive for cocaine

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Evgeny Kuznetsov receives IIHF suspension after testing positive for cocaine

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended for four years by the IIHF after testing positive for cocaine, the organization announced Friday. The test was found in a sample taken on May 26, 2019, at the World Championship.

The suspension will last through June 12, 2023.

A video posted on Twitter in May showed Kuznetsov in a hotel room next to lines of an unidentified white powder. The Capitals center released a statement afterward saying that he has “never taken illegal drugs in my life and career.” He also claimed the video was from 2018 in Vegas after Washington won the Stanley Cup.

After a review, both the NHL and the Capitals accepted Kuznetsov’s explanation of the situation and considered the matter closed.

A team official told NBC Sports Washington on Friday that the team does intend to make an official comment on the news of Kuznetsov’s suspension.

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