The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect forward Carter Ashton was suspended by the National Hockey League, and it’s Players Association for 20 games. Ashton was said to have had an “asthma attack” and used “another teammate’s” inhaler which had a substance that is banned by the NHL. Along with a 20 game ban, he has to forfeit $169,185 in pay for the violation.
The 23-year old Ashton, a Leafs 2009, first-round pick (29th overall) is a 6’-3” 215 pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ashton is a hard worker, but has inconsistency problems, which prevent his talents from reserving an NHL roster spot. Playing mostly in the American Hockey League, Ashton has appeared in 140 games, scored 48 goals and 32 assists. Ashton has played in 50 career National Hockey League games and has only three assists.
Ashton released the following statement through the NHLPA:
“I suffered an asthmatic spasm in late August while in a training session getting prepared for the 2014-15 NHL season. One of the other athletes I was training with gave me an inhaler in order to help open my airway, which provided me with immediate relief from my asthma attack. I kept this inhaler and used it a second time early in the training camp upon experiencing another asthma episode. Unfortunately, I incorrectly assumed that there were no problems associated with the use of this inhaler and I used it without checking to see whether its contents were permissible under the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
“I now recognize that I ingested Clenbuterol, a prohibited substance, through the inhaler. However, at no time was I seeking to gain an athletic advantage or to knowingly violate the terms of the program. I used the inhaler in response to exercise-induced asthma, a condition that my doctor with the Toronto Maple Leafs has since diagnosed and he has prescribed me with an inhaler.
“As a professional hockey player, I recognize that I am responsible for what I put into my body, and I will not appeal my suspension. While I am extremely disappointed that I have let my teammates, our fans and the Maple Leafs organization down, I will work very hard during my suspension to stay in game shape so that I can help out the team when I am able to return.”