File this news away as something to remember in the future. The Virginia chiropractor who treated a number of current and now former Caps players plead guilty to steroid possession charges today.
A spokesman for the state attorney in Polk County, Fla., says Douglas Nagel was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty Tuesday to attempted possession of a controlled substance.
Caps players Matt Bradley, Shaone Morrisonn and Eric Fehr admitted receiving chiropractic treatment from Nagel but denied getting steroids from him. Nagel also denied that he ever distributed steroids and said the drugs he ordered from a Florida supplier were for personal use.
Everyone’s ears perk up when it comes to talking about pro athletes and steroids and in hockey it’s not believed to be as serious a problem as it is in pro football or baseball, but as Justin Bourne from Puck Daddy talked about openly, it does exist and the NHL should get out in front of things before there is a major problem.
My main question is, what does the NHL or NHLPA (or the PHPA in the minors, for that matter) have to gain from keeping testing at a minimum?
Maybe they’re worried that catching players with positive tests will eat away at hockey’s credibility the way baseball’s has been damaged. I don’t know, I can’t think of any other reason. And if that’s it, that’s just as dishonest as being the type of guy who jabs so many needles in his ass he ends up throwing bat-shards at people.
The current system is inadequate because people are using and not getting caught. That’s not hearsay or rumor, that’s first-hand fact.
Taking what a guy who played in all levels of minor league hockey says to be the case, especially a guy as forthcoming as Bourne is, should be seen as the first major indictment of the seemingly lax system. After all, one NHL player has been busted by the league for performance enhancing drugs, Carolina’s Sean Hill.
What Bourne does say about how to handle this is correct though, it’s time for the NHL to get serious about things before outside influences, like more rogue doctors with insufficient morals or members of Congress, make it a bigger issue for the league.