Performance drug testing and the NHL aren’t generally talked about very much. That changed last month when a steroids dealer named Richard Thomas was tracked down in Florida and arrested and was ready to sing for authorities on who he was getting PEDs for. From that investigation, a D.C. area chiropractor with connections to both the Washington Capitals and baseball’s Washington Nationals, Dr. Douglas Nagel, was arrested for obtaining steroids and other illegal performance enhancing drugs.
Just like that, the spotlight that has besieged Major League Baseball for years now fell upon the NHL. Just how serious did the NHL take looking into these charges? If you asked from Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, according to an incredible story from Sports Illustrated’s David Epstein, you might be caught off guard.
After the arrest of Nagel, says Judd, “the NHL head of security was more concerned about how we got jurisdiction to arrest him [in Virginia].”
“I don’t know whether the NHL has a steroid issue or not,” Judd says, “but they certainly are very uncomfortable with us asking questions about it.”
To be clear here, no Capitals players failed any drug tests and players are tested a lot during the season. During the off-season and playoffs, however, players are not tested. The Capitals and the NHL both issued statements declaring there were no problems at all and that they’d help out investigators. That said, the Sheriff isn’t happy and that can’t bode well for the league. Just ask Major League Baseball about that.