The AHL announced today that Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and Toronto Marlies winger Brad Ross has been suspended for 20 games for violating the AHL/PHPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
“I truly want to apologize to the entire Toronto Maple Leafs organization, my teammates, friends, family, and fans for violating the terms of the AHL/PHPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program,” Ross said in a statement released through the PHPA.
Ross is the second Maple Leafs prospect to be suspended this season for violating the guidelines of a performance enhancing substance policy this season. Winger Carter Ashton, a first round selection of theTampa Bay Lightning in 2009, was suspended 20 games for ingesting Clenbuterol. Per NHL/NHLPA guidelines, Ashton was suspended for 20 games without pay.
“The Toronto Maple Leafs organization supports the AHL Substance Abuse Program and today’s decision to suspend forward Brad Ross,” said Toronto GM Dave Nonis in a release from the team. “Our organization is diligent in its work to only provide our athletes supplements approved by the Banned Substance Control Group, and we’ve stressed the importance of staying within these parameters to maintain the integrity of what goes into their bodies. We are disappointed with Brad and fully support today’s suspension.”
The Maple Leafs selected Ross in the second round, 43rd overall, of the 2010 draft. He was the sixth ranked Toronto prospect in THN’s 2012 Future Watch issue, slipped to 10th in 2013, and was not listed as a top 10 prospect for the team in 2014.
In 21 games in the AHL this season, Ross has four goals and seven points. He will not be eligible to return to action until Mar. 8, when the Marlies host the Utica Comets. Ross will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season.