Dryden McKay suspension: Why the 2022 Hobey Baker winner received a six-month ban for doping violation

Dryden McKay suspension: Why the 2022 Hobey Baker winner received a six-month ban for doping violation

Dryden McKay, Minnesota State’s goaltender and the 2022 Hobey Baker Award winner, has accepted a suspension of six months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine. 

McKay was tested on Jan. 23 after he was selected as an alternate for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics. According to USADA’s statement, during their investigation, it was discovered that a supplement product McKay was using was contaminated with Ostarine, but did not have the substance listed on the label. 

The suspension began on April 14 and will run until October. 

McKay is regarded as one of the top available undrafted college free agents. With the NCAA season concluding two weeks ago, it was anticipated that McKay would sign a professional contract with an NHL team. However, with this suspension, it is not a surprise that teams are waiting to offer him a contract. 

The 25-year-old helped Minnesota State to a CCHA title and a Frozen Four championship appearance. He finished this season with an NCAA-record 38 wins and also holds the NCAA record for career shutouts with 34. 

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What was McKay’s response to the suspension?

The goaltender put out a statement on his Twitter account, detailing the events that happened in full and explaining how he was unaware he was taking any sort of banned substance. 

In the statement, McKay said he was taking a “all natural” non-NSF vitamin D3 immune booster for a period of 10 days due to its antiviral and immune boosting benefits, hoping to give him added protection from COVID-19. It was in that vitamin that the Ostarine was found. 

McKay was at first facing a four-year suspension for testing positive for the substance, however, since he was able to convince an arbitrator that he consumed Ostarine without his knowledge, the ban was reduced. 

Why was McKay able to continue to play in the NCAA?

The results of the test came back on Feb. 1, and USADA immediately suspended him from action. However, since McKay was able to detect and find the source of the banned substance, an independent sports arbitrator temporarily lifted the ban on McKay until a full investigation was completed. 

The NCAA did its own investigation and determined that McKay was clear to play. According to McKay’s statement, it was only because both the independent arbitrator and the NCAA cleared him to compete that he was able to finish out the NCAA season. 

What is Ostarine?

Ostarine, which is also known as Enobosarm, is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that can be found in supplements. 

The definition on WebMD states that “Ostarine attaches to proteins in the body known as androgen receptors. When Ostarine binds to these receptors, it tells muscles to grow.” It is not approved by the US FDA. 

According to USADA, Ostarine is considered to be “a Non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, and the International Ice Hockey Federation Anti-Doping Regulations.”