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Hobey Baker Winner Banned for Trillionth of a Gram Contamination

Photo by Jackson Fonderer

Hobey Baker Winner Banned for Trillionth of a Gram Contamination

2022 Hobey Baker Award-winning goaltender Dryden McKay has been suspended from action by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for six months for violating anti-doping protocol and regulations.

However, it could have been much worse for McKay – who unknowingly ingested a microgram of a banned substance from a tainted vitamin leading to a positive test – as he was initially supposed to face a four-year ban from competition.

McKay – a 24-year-old goaltender for Minnesota State – became just third goaltender in NCAA history to earn the Honey Baker award as college hockey’s very best player. He went undrafted by NHL teams and will hope to land an AHL contract for the fall to impress potential NHL suitors once his suspension is over. He is eligible to begin practicing with teammates on August 25 and return to game action on October 11.

Following news of the USADA’s decision, McKay released a lengthy statement, revealing his side of the story, while indicating his immediate actions and future plans.

McKay’s full statement can be found below:

“I would like to officially respond to the press release regarding USADA’s announcement of my 6-month sanction.

In early January, the NHL made the decision not to send its players to the Olympics. Shortly after, Team USA announced their roster of college and other non-NHL players, but it was not announced that a group of 4 players (including myself) were alternates. From then on, we prepared as though I was going to Beijing even though I knew I would only make the trip if another goalie tested positive for COVID or was injured. Part of this process included being drug tested by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and declaring all supplements on January 23.

On February 1, much to my surprise, I was notified that my urine sample was contaminated with minute levels (trillionths of a gram) of a substance I had never heard of before called Ostarine. The level was explained to me by my attorney, as so small it is comparable to a grain of salt in a swimming pool, therefore providing NO performance enhancing benefit to me whatsoever.

The source was an “all-natural” contaminated non-NSF vitamin D3 natural” contaminated non-NSF vitamin D3 immune booster that I consumed for less than two weeks (10 days) because of the advertised antiviral and immunity boosting benefits. I know the source because I had all the supplements I was taking shipped to an independent lab immediately to find the source of contamination. The lab found Ostarine contaminants in my opened bottle of the “all-natural” vitamin D3 immune booster I was taking. I declared the “all-natural” vitamin immune booster during testing, after I took it for 10 days hoping to protect me from Covid amid the Omicron wave, as per the recommendation from a trainer to consume more vitamin D.

Because I was able to establish the source of the contamination, an independent sports arbitrator lifted my suspension on February 3, allowing me to compete until a final decision was made.

The NCAA, fully aware of the situation along with the full cooperation from MSU athletics, issued a separate decision which cleared me to play because my suspension was lifted. It is only because I was cleared by both and only because I was cleared by both an independent sports arbitrator AND the NCAA that I was able to play out the rest of the season for Minnesota State.

USADA has indicated I am unable to avoid a penalty because I, as an athlete, am responsible for what goes into my body. The all-natural vitamin D immunity booster a non-approved NSF supplement; therefore I am dealing with the consequence.

I have decided to put this case behind me and accept the 6-month sanction offered by USADA so that I will be able to play in October. In closing, one thing is certain, I am and have always been a clean athlete who has never taken shortcuts. I don’t take muscle building or performance enhancing supplements or creatine and never will.

Now, I and many athletes from all over, have better knowledge, that even a vitamin can cause you to test positive. This experience has been a very unexpected and difficult matter for me and my family. I am so grateful for all the support. I am remaining optimistic and looking forward to beginning my pro career this fall.”

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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