IIHF unveils green warm-up puck for anti-doping campaign



The world hockey championship is going green.

It has nothing to do with recycling old players, but rather the International Ice Hockey Federation's introduction of a green puck as part of an anti-doping education campaign.

The campaign, which is developed in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency, is aimed at players under the age of 20 who are most likely to be tempted by performance-enhancing substances or illegal drugs.

During three games at the upcoming world championship in Germany, players will use green pucks during warm-ups, with each puck expressing an assortment of mottos and emblazoned with the 'Say NO!' message.

“I am proud of our efforts in doping education and prevention, this campaign is yet another way that the IIHF is setting the tone in this important area,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said Monday in a statement.

“The IIHF was one of the first international federations to be WADA Code compliant. Although doping is a rarity in international ice hockey, we realize that we are not immune to people who want to cheat by taking banned substances. This is why the IIHF, together with WADA, has launched the Green Puck campaign. Our main goal is to create awareness about the risks of doping.”

Among the games that will feature the green puck in the pre-game warm-ups is Friday's opener, which will see the United States and Germany battle in Gelsenkirchen in front of expected crowd of more than 70,000. Two of Saturday's scheduled games, including Finland and Denmark, along with Switzerland against Latvia will also have flashes of pre-game green.

The IIHF will also have information booths set up for fans at the respective venues.

Effective last year, WADA made it compulsory for all international sport federations to have an anti-doping education program.

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