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Doping in the NHL.


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#1 njdevsftw

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:31 AM

Anyone know details about doping tests in the NHL now after the new CBA is in place? AFAIK the old regime was 2-3 tests during the season, but *none* during the offseason.. I was also told that "no drug tests" was one of the conditions set by the NHL last time they participated in the Olympics.. 


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#2 2ELIAS6

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:56 AM

why should they have to take a drug test during the off season? Theyre normal people wth normal lives(during the off season) If i got laid off for 5 months but still had to go take a drug test for work i think i might be annoyed.. not that i do any type of drugs but just saying.
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#3 Daniel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:48 AM

Has anyone ever been caught or suspended for it?  I seem to recall that the Ranger prospect, Sherapanov, was discovered to have steroids in his system after he had a heart attack on the ice. 

 

Even so, it would seem to be less of a big deal in hockey where you don't have the obssession with individual records.  And even then, steroids probably aren't going to make you a better goal scorer or passer.  Suppose they could help with endurance though.

 

My guess is that the ones who use them are more often goon types. 


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#4 SMantzas

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:55 AM

Sean Hill got caught
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#5 mouse

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:14 AM

why should they have to take a drug test during the off season? Theyre normal people wth normal lives(during the off season) If i got laid off for 5 months but still had to go take a drug test for work i think i might be annoyed.. not that i do any type of drugs but just saying.

Drug testing should be for performance enhancers only, but needs to be year round. Otherwise, you could bulk up when you know you won't get tested and not ever get caught.


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#6 devilsfan26

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:42 AM

I think we need to distinguish between steroids and blood doping.  Not that one is allowable and the other isn't, but the two terms aren't interchangeable.  As far as I know, steroids improve your strength but weaken your ligaments, so it would help you hit home runs, but won't help you skate better, so it wouldn't help you much in hockey.

 

Blood doping means boosting the number of red blood cells in your body.  This can be done by physically transfusing more blood into your bloodstream, or by taking drugs that enhance production of red blood cells.  Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your muscles, so increasing your red blood cell count would give you better endurance.  If I remember correctly, Cherepanov wasn't taking steroids, but he was doping.  Doping makes your blood more viscous, so it can lead to blood clots.  Cherepanov had a condition in which his heart was thicker than usual, so that combined with doping led to his death.  He might have been saved though if the ambulance at the game didn't already leave, or if the batteries on the defibrillator weren't dead.


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#7 ATLL765

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:10 AM

Drug testing should be for performance enhancers only, but needs to be year round. Otherwise, you could bulk up when you know you won't get tested and not ever get caught.

Agreed. Who cares if a player smokes pot or even if he's a crackhead? If he plays well enough, isn't insane and doesn't promote drug use, then it doesn't matter to me if a player wants to use drugs occasionally, but if you're going to test for blood doping or steroids, it doesn't make sense to stop in the offseason. Though I will admit my lack of knowledge on how useful it would be to do such a thing only during the offseason.


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#8 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:14 AM

why should they have to take a drug test during the off season? Theyre normal people wth normal lives(during the off season) If i got laid off for 5 months but still had to go take a drug test for work i think i might be annoyed.. not that i do any type of drugs but just saying.

 

They aren't laid off for 5 months a year.  Just because they aren't playing doesn't mean that get to do whatever they want.  Their contract is still valid and enforceable throughout the calendar year.  They have offseason nutrition and workout programs that are set by the team to follow and, in some cases, are required to attend mini-camps and rookie camps during that period.  For some players, their contracts include clauses prohibiting them from doing certain activities during the offseason, such as riding motorcycles, skydiving, etc. 

 

Off season drug testing occurs in just about every professional sport now.  It is the cost of being a professional athlete.  Not saying that I personally agree with testing for anything other than PED's outside of the season, but if they bargained for this testing in the last CBA, then so be it.


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#9 Daniel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:19 AM

I think we need to distinguish between steroids and blood doping.  Not that one is allowable and the other isn't, but the two terms aren't interchangeable.  As far as I know, steroids improve your strength but weaken your ligaments, so it would help you hit home runs, but won't help you skate better, so it wouldn't help you much in hockey.

 

Blood doping means boosting the number of red blood cells in your body.  This can be done by physically transfusing more blood into your bloodstream, or by taking drugs that enhance production of red blood cells.  Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your muscles, so increasing your red blood cell count would give you better endurance.  If I remember correctly, Cherepanov wasn't taking steroids, but he was doping.  Doping makes your blood more viscous, so it can lead to blood clots.  Cherepanov had a condition in which his heart was thicker than usual, so that combined with doping led to his death.  He might have been saved though if the ambulance at the game didn't already leave, or if the batteries on the defibrillator weren't dead.

 

Interesting you mention blood doping, since, as I recall, hypoxic tents can produce the same effect.  One comes in an injection, which people think is icky, and hence is banned, and the other is legal because you're just sitting there.  I understand rules are rules, but the logic of it breaks down at some point.

 

Recommend the documentary "Bigger, Faster, Stronger"


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#10 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:20 AM

Agreed. Who cares if a player smokes pot or even if he's a crackhead? If he plays well enough, isn't insane and doesn't promote drug use, then it doesn't matter to me if a player wants to use drugs occasionally, but if you're going to test for blood doping or steroids, it doesn't make sense to stop in the offseason. Though I will admit my lack of knowledge on how useful it would be to do such a thing only during the offseason.

 

Every time I think of a crackhead, I see this...

 


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#11 Triumph

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

Has anyone ever been caught or suspended for it?  I seem to recall that the Ranger prospect, Sherapanov, was discovered to have steroids in his system after he had a heart attack on the ice. 

 

Even so, it would seem to be less of a big deal in hockey where you don't have the obssession with individual records.  And even then, steroids probably aren't going to make you a better goal scorer or passer.  Suppose they could help with endurance though.

 

My guess is that the ones who use them are more often goon types. 

 

Stimulant abuse was rampant in NHL locker rooms in the 90s, SI ran a piece about NHL players taking massive doses of Sudafed before every period.  I have no idea what 'individual records' has to do with anything with regard to baseball performance enhancing drugs, because it was widespread at all levels.

 

Internet's a wonderful thing, here's the Sudafed piece:  http://sportsillustr...11875/index.htm


Edited by Triumph, 21 May 2013 - 10:35 AM.

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#12 CarterforPresident

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

I think we need to distinguish between steroids and blood doping. Not that one is allowable and the other isn't, but the two terms aren't interchangeable. As far as I know, steroids improve your strength but weaken your ligaments, so it would help you hit home runs, but won't help you skate better, so it wouldn't help you much in hockey.

Blood doping means boosting the number of red blood cells in your body. This can be done by physically transfusing more blood into your bloodstream, or by taking drugs that enhance production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your muscles, so increasing your red blood cell count would give you better endurance. If I remember correctly, Cherepanov wasn't taking steroids, but he was doping. Doping makes your blood more viscous, so it can lead to blood clots. Cherepanov had a condition in which his heart was thicker than usual, so that combined with doping led to his death. He might have been saved though if the ambulance at the game didn't already leave, or if the batteries on the defibrillator weren't dead.

thank you for educating me. I didn't know this I appreciate it:-)
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#13 njdevsftw

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

Pretty sure Jose Theodore and a couple of other (lower profile) players tested positive a few years ago as well. Back then it wasn't illegal though (I think) so they were not suspended. The NHL offseason is long enough for anyone willing to build a serious amount of muscles, making them permanently stronger and faster, and then have the drugs out of their system again by the start of the season. I don't care if players smoke weed obviously.. Allthough some "recreational" drugs are also banned because they can increase physical performance. Not sure if the the same long term benefits can be achieved using edurance enhancing drugs, like EPO or blood doping, but if cycling is any indication it doesn't seem unlikely..

Edited by njdevsftw, 21 May 2013 - 11:18 AM.

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#14 devilsfan26

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:23 AM

I think Theodore tested positive for a masking agent that was found in Rogaine or some other hair loss prevention product he was using.  I don't know if he was taking it for his hair or because it contained the masking agent though.


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#15 Daniel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:45 AM

Stimulant abuse was rampant in NHL locker rooms in the 90s, SI ran a piece about NHL players taking massive doses of Sudafed before every period.  I have no idea what 'individual records' has to do with anything with regard to baseball performance enhancing drugs, because it was widespread at all levels.

 

Internet's a wonderful thing, here's the Sudafed piece:  http://sportsillustr...11875/index.htm

 

My point is, is that fans care a lot more about steroids in baseball because of the obsession with individual records, regardless of whether steroid use was widespread.  Football players get busted for steroids all the time, but it's generally an afterthough in the fans' mind.  Sports talk radio was not spending literally years talking about Shawn Merriman's steroid use, or whether his defensive MVP award should be rescinded.  If you found out that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning took steroids during their injury rehab, my guess is that most fans wouldn't be too up in arms about it.

 

Stimulants, especially over the counter stuff like Sudafed, has less of the "ick" factor than "steroids".  (No one is talking about putting an aseterix on Dwight Gooden's stats because he did coke.)   Even the IIOC let Carl Lewis off the hook for using stimulants.

 

  That's what I think the steroid obsession from fans and the sports press comes down to. 


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#16 njdevsftw

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:36 PM

Steroids/doping is cheating. Plain and simple. If you don't come down hard on people using it, you're basically making it so everyone has to use it to stay competetive. If everyone uses it the whole point dissappears as you would no longer gain an advantage. (There's also some ethical problems involved in not banning it, as it is known to cause health problems long term.)
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#17 Onddeck

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:39 PM

I take pride in following a sport that does not have a reputation in being taken over by roids.

 

Do WHAT EVER it takes to prevent doping.  


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#18 Daniel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:48 PM

Steroids/doping is cheating. Plain and simple. If you don't come down hard on people using it, you're basically making it so everyone has to use it to stay competetive. If everyone uses it the whole point dissappears as you would no longer gain an advantage. (There's also some ethical problems involved in not banning it, as it is known to cause health problems long term.)

 

Let's say there were no such thing as steroids, but you found out Barry Bonds were using Sudafed or other stimulants.  Even if you technically concluded he was "cheating", do you think people would be up in arms about it and not letting him into the Hall of Fame?  I seriously doubt it. 

 

Or, as I mentioned earlier, if you found out Tom Brady or Peyton Manning took HGH while rehabbing their injuries, would you feel it would diminish their accompishments?  That's basically what Andy Pettite did.  I doubt that people would think of Manning/Brady as cheaters, but would call Pettite a cheater.

 

Like I said, I think the obsession with steroids comes down to the ick factor, and is more unique to sports where there's an obsession with individual records.


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#19 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:00 PM

Let's say there were no such thing as steroids, but you found out Barry Bonds were using Sudafed or other stimulants.  Even if you technically concluded he was "cheating", do you think people would be up in arms about it and not letting him into the Hall of Fame?  I seriously doubt it. 

 

Or, as I mentioned earlier, if you found out Tom Brady or Peyton Manning took HGH while rehabbing their injuries, would you feel it would diminish their accompishments?  That's basically what Andy Pettite did.  I doubt that people would think of Manning/Brady as cheaters, but would call Pettite a cheater.

 

Like I said, I think the obsession with steroids comes down to the ick factor, and is more unique to sports where there's an obsession with individual records.

 

There's some truth to what you're saying.  The NFL was over run with anabolic steriods in the late 80's early 90's (Lyle Alzado was the cautionary tale), and nobody really cared.  Plus, you had guys like Lawrence Taylor admittedly snorting lines before games, and he is still one of the most revered Giant players in their history.  None of it lessened the NFL's popularity in any way.  The league was basically shamed into a steriod testing policy by the embarrasing press they were getting.  But overall, the fans didn't really care.


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#20 Daniel

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:13 PM

In the documentary I mentioned -- Bigger, Faster, Stronger -- there's the theory that the obsession with steroids was really an outgrowth of the early Cold War when the Eastern Bloc atheletes were taking steroids up the wazoo.


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