All the talk of late in Major League Baseball has centered around the latest performance enhancing drug scandal. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reminds us that the NHL doesn’t have to worry about such issues.
In his column today, Brooks says there’s no reason to think the NHL will have such off-ice distractions and there are two particular reasons why.
But even if NHL testing procedures previously have left holes to exploit, the league’s participation in international events such as the Olympics and World Championships are the best guard against the use of PEDs in the sport.
Drug testing for international competition is as stringent as it gets. Hockey players wanting to represent their country apparently won’t take chances ruining that opportunity or inviting criticism on themselves by using PEDs.
Adding to that, the NHL and NHLPA cracked down on drug testing following the 2004-05 lockout. Since then, just one NHL player (Sean Hill then of the New York Islanders) tested positive for PEDs and that was in 2007. Jose Theodore was busted in 2006 testing positive for a substance that could’ve been used to mask PED usage but was excused.
As Brooks notes, however, PEDs aren’t the NHL’s main concern when it comes to drugs. Instead, it’s pain killers and that’s another story for another time.