World Anti-Doping Agency wants NHL to expand drug testing

wada.jpgThe NHL rarely deals with the steroid backlash that hounds Major League Baseball and troubles the NFL. Some, like former World Anti-Doping Agency head Dick Pound, wonder if it’s simply because of the league’s drug testing policies.

Former WADA chair Dick Pound has been harshly critical of the NHL’s approach to doping, alleging in the past that as many as 30 per cent of hockey players are using performance-enhancing substances.

Current WADA chair John Fahey said that he’s disappointed that the league isn’t fully compliant with the world anti-doping code but that the agency is working with the NHL to expand its testing.

WADA chair John Fahey says talks continue with the league to try to widen the window of time during which players can be tested.

Currently the NHL allows players to be tested up to three times a season but none of those tests can occur in the playoffs or during the summer.

Fahey says the limitation is disappointing, but WADA is making some progress in talks with the league.

We’ll keep you up to date on the league’s policies when/if they evolve.

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    GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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    On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

    Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

    Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

    “I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

    Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

    Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

    Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

    Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

    Next four games: Three out of four at home
    Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

    As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

    For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

    via AP

    Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

    Alex Ovechkin

    Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

    He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

    Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

    That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

    This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

    No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.