Andri Denyskin has been suspended for racism ©Getty Images

Ukraine men’s national team member Andri Denyskin has received a one-year suspension for racism by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Disciplinary Board.

The ban disqualifies the HC Kremenchuk forward from participating in all IIHF-sanctioned events and all international competitions, including friendlies, exhibition matches or games of similar nature with another IIHF national association member.

The Board came to the decision after the IIHF Ethics Board and Disciplinary Board were appointed following the IIHF Council elections that took place during the 2021 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress in September.

"Racist gestures, comments or actions have absolutely no place in the game of ice hockey, or anywhere, for that matter," IIHF President Luc Tardif said.

"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 suspension dates back to September 26, 2021, during a Ukrainian Hockey League match between HC Kremenchuk and HC Donbass.

Denkysin will not be able to play in any of the IIHF-sanctioned competitions ©Getty Images
Denkysin will not be able to play in any of the IIHF-sanctioned competitions ©Getty Images

Denyskin was involved in an incident with an opposition player at 35:01 of the game and each player was handed a double minor penalty for roughing.

Before moving to the penalty box to serve the penalty, Denyskin made a racist gesture towards Donbass player Jalen Smereck.

Smereck was not the player Kremenchuk had the altercation with.

A game misconduct penalty, under rule 75, clause 5 of the Official IIHF Rule Book, was given to Denyskin.

The Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine later imposed a 13-game suspension - the maximum punishment.

The IIHF has committed to working with the Ukraine federation to impose severe punishments for similar incidents after Maxym Urda, the referee-in-chief for the Ice Hockey of Ukraine, indicated the current rules are not strong enough during Denyskin’s hearing.

The deciding panel heard Denyskin immediately acknowledge wrongdoing and said he had apologised personally to Smereck and repeatedly in the disciplinary process.

Denyskin commented that after the game he went to the HC Donbass dressing room, apologised to Smereck and they shook hands.