Saying that the National Hockey League has a performance-enhancing drug problem would be a tremendous stretch.
Only one player has been busted for PEDs since the league started testing seven years ago, and the cloud of suspicion that surrounds baseball — and to a lesser extent football — has not descended upon hockey. But that does not mean the NHL is completely drug-free.
In fact, Jonathan Toews, who has captained the Chicago Blackhawks to a pair of Stanley Cups, told Sportsnet The Fan 590 on Wednesday that those who believe his sport is 100 percent clean need to open their eyes.
“I think it would be naive to say that there’s no one in the NHL that is trying to get the edge in that fashion,” Toews.
“But at the end of the day, whether you get caught now or not, down the road at some point those sort of things come out as we’ve seen in Major League Baseball and cycling.
“Eventually … someone is going to save their own butt and throw you under the bus. And that’s your legacy. That’s what people remember: That you’re a cheater and you took performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think guys that apologize and plead that they didn’t know what they were doing, I think they know exactly what they’re doing. So the more tests the better. It protects the guys that are being fair and are putting good things into their body. So I have no problem with [more testing].”
The NHL adopted a stricter drug policy under the new collective bargaining agreement, according to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and the league hopes to add testing for human growth hormone sometime in the near future.