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Brooks: NHL, NHLPA cleaned up its drug-testing house under new CBA’s policies

The New York Post's Larry Brooks takes a page out of the baseball summer storyline for his Sunday column, suggesting that a) the NHL has obviously harbored some performance enhancing drug-users over the course of the CBA but b) oddly enough, the CBA Donald Fehr helped negotiate has changed the, "How 'clean' is the NHL?" equation completely:

[T]here is no reason to suspect PEDs are a problem for the NHL or the NHLPA, which negotiated more expansive procedures, including playoff and offseason testing, into the Collective Bargaining Agreement that ended the 2012-13 lockout.

It’s not that hockey is an inherently morally superior operation. Hockey’s issue has been with painkillers and sleeping pills. The breadth of the problem likely will become more apparent as the wrongful death suit against the NHL filed by the family of the late Derek Boogaard moves through the legal system.

No doubt overdue, the NHL and NHLPA did address the matter of controlling player access to prescription drugs and sleep aids in crafting new procedures that went into effect at the beginning of last season.

The likelihood is that restricting access to painkillers will do more to eliminate fighting from the game than any on-ice rule initiative the league might ponder. As it becomes less and less possible to dull a heavyweight’s senses, the more senseless it will be for heavyweights to drop their gloves.

Continued, and I do agree that the NHL's willingness to deal with the reality that Ambien and Vicodin addictions are much more prevalent everywhere in society than PED use is...Gave the NHL perhaps the most realistic drug policy in sports. The WADA will disagree, but that's what the WADA does.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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