I keep waiting for someone to post this. From the article in today's Journal. On the heels of the La Presse stuff of course, and there are some comments of note from BG, Staios and Lowe. I'm not an online newspaper reader ... can anyone with an online Journal subscription cut and paste some of it here please? The out-of-towners would appreciate it I think.
all that the article says is Laraque wants there to be mandatory testing because hes sick of people asking him if he does steroids; he knows he doesn't and wishes tehy had tests so (a) there would be no steroids in the game and (b) people would stop thinking he does steroids.
Article also mentioned that 2 years ago there was league wide testing for steroids, and they found only 5 players who were guilty (names of course not released). Since the tests were in season though it is speculated that the actual number of guys using in the summer to bulk up is probably higher than 5, and then they just cycle off once the season is on.
At least, that's from my memory, so if I'm misquoting laraque or incorrectly summarizing the article, someone please correct me.
Lowe was much the same, very brief quote from him. Downplayed it and doesn't think testing is necessary.
Seems like it's the NHLPA that tested themselves, unrequested. More from a "player health" aspect according to Staios. Good on 'em. Long overdue. But as Laraque says ... it's the offseason when guys are using (if any are) ... so a midseason test has limited value.
Still, I'm impressed the players association made the first move here ... usually it's neither side until there is a scandal.
can anyone with an online Journal subscription cut and paste some of it here please?
Some quote, sorry no links:
Originally Posted by Edmonton Sun, Mar 23, 2005, Dan Barnes
Laraque, who is playing hockey in Sweden, stressed that a mandatory testing policy is the only way to combat the accusations he hears from NHL fans.
"Everywhere I go, people always ask me if I take steroids," Laraque said in a phone interview from Stockholm. "Always. It's because of my size and because I'm a tough guy. It pisses me off.
"I work hard to be this strong and this size and some guys are able to cheat to do it. It's not fair for me.
"I have never taken steroids. I would never take steroids. Even if I tell them I don't, they don't have to believe me because we don't have tests. The NHL should be like the other sports and have a testing policy, to make it a clean
Laraque said the results of tests the NHL Players' Association conducted on its entire membership two years ago indicate there was not a widespread problem. He refused to identify any of the five players who tested positive. A
spokesman for the NHLPA could not be reached for confirmation on Tuesday.
"Every team, every player was tested," Laraque said, adding the Oilers submitted urine samples during a road trip, though he couldn't recall exactly where or when.
"It was during the season. It was done by number. It was all confidential. They said five players (in the league) were positive for steroids. The numbers might have been different if they tested during training camp because people who take steroids will do them in the summer."
[cynic mode]Yeah, drug testing is good: it's all about you Georges, you and your rep.[/cynic mode]
Originally Posted by Winnipeg Sun, Mar 23, 2005, Paul Friesen
...the Moose trainer during that 1996 training camp was Ross Hodgkinson, who's now the head trainer for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and who's been treating pro athletes in this town for the last 20 years.
Hodgkinson says he's not particularly surprised at Morissette's admission, as the 6-foot-1, 224-pound winger obviously believed he needed to get as big and strong as possible to fight his way to the NHL.
But Hodgkinson stopped short of agreeing with the assertion that steroids are common in hockey.
"I would say not very common," he said yesterday. "I would never say it was non-existent. The people who make those blanket statements are pretty naive."
More common in hockey dressing rooms, Hodgkinson says, are the stimulants Morissette said he became addicted to, and which continue to cause him stomach problems in his retirement.
"Caffeine, Sudafed, ginseng -- you kind of make your own pre-game cocktail. You'd often walk past a locker and you'd see two or three different things ... and if there was something I thought was a concern, I would certainly mention it to the player."
Hodgkinson says players are learning, and abuse of stimulants was on its way down when he worked in the IHL from 1996-2001.
"The stories I heard back when, when guys were taking eight Sudafeds a game, I certainly never witnessed that kind of abuse," he said.
The bottom line: Hodgkinson has never seen steroids help anybody. ...But he's seen plenty of hurt.