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The NHL Drug Testing Program

from Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated,

For years, the prevailing thought has been that the NHL doesn't have a performance-enhancing drug problem. It isn't a part of hockey's culture, people claim. Steroids wouldn't help hockey players score goals in the same way they would help, say, ballplayers slug pitches out of the park. There hasn't been much evidence to prove those claims wrong. When the NHL created a woefully overdue testing program in 2005, there was no rash of positive tests that suggested a problem. And every four years since 1998, a large number of NHLers undergo strict WADA testing in order to be eligible for the Winter Olympics. There have been no earth-shattering revelations from that program, either. But of course, thanks to Lance Armstrong, we all know now that the absence of positive tests doesn't necessarily prove that all is well.

The NHL claimed to be ahead of the curve, but over the last five years, that curve has sped by. Under the new CBA, however, the league and its players are taking steps, as small as they might be, to catch up. Buried in the 24-page memo of understanding are a few substantive changes to the NHL's drug-testing program, notably that the league will begin testing during the playoffs and administer a limited number of tests during the off-season.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Hank1974's avatar

About time.
We’re fooling ourselves if we don’t think the NHL has just as big a drug problem as the other sports.

Ignorance tells us that steroids only help to bulk up and add muscle.
But most PED’s allow players to heal faster and provide more endurance to get through a tough 82-game schedule.

Nobody has to believe me, but I’ve been told by a reputable source, who’s brother is a trainer for an NHL club, that many players use and experiment with PEDs throughout the season.

Posted by Hank1974 on 02/01/13 at 02:24 PM ET


And every four years since 1998, a large number of NHLers undergo strict WADA testing in order to be eligible for the Winter Olympics.

This is pretty meaningless.  It’s easy to be clean for a few weeks every for years. 

I would love to see all major professional sports fully cooperating with WADA.  A couple in competition tests for an extremely limited number of substances/methods is pretty worthless.  They should be testing for the full WADA band substance list, with year round out of competition tests, and a whereabouts system, like some of the other olympic sports. 

Even better would be to have a biological passport type program to identify suspicious results even when undetectable substances or methods are used.

Posted by jwad on 02/01/13 at 04:57 PM ET

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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.

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