MONTREAL -- The NHL is trying to fool the public with a
flawed anti-doping program, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping
agency said Tuesday.
Dick Pound said league statements Monday that there were no
positive tests among 1,406 administered during the season were
meaningless given the loopholes in its anti-doping program.
"All we can do is keep drawing the attention of the public to
its shortcomings and make sure the public understands that it's
being fooled by the NHL when it says it has a serious testing
program," Pound said.
He said the NHL does not test for stimulants and other banned
substances and does not test at times when players are likely to be
caught, such as during offseason training.
Pound did not back off a statement he made in November that up
to a third of NHL players may be using performance-enhancing drugs
"if you include the full range of drugs, most of which they don't
"I think they should make clear what they test for and what
they don't. And make it clear when they're testing out of
competition and in competition. And make it clear they don't test
before and after games. And they don't test in the offseason and
that they only test for steroids."
NHL players, management personnel and representatives of the NHL
Players Association expressed delight when it was made known that
none of the tests taken since January were positive.
And many mentioned Pound, saying the results proved his estimate
NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin said Pound "should be
embarrassed by his baseless and uninformed allegations.
"I would hope that in the future he refrains from commenting on
NHL players since his last remarks were so off-base."
Pound said the league's program lacked transparency and that it
should make public its "whole testing protocol," including who is
administering the tests, how they were taken and which players were
tested at what times.
The league said each of the league's roughly 700 players was
tested up to two times between Jan. 15 and the end of the regular
season. The tests were administered by the independent lab
Comprehensive Drug Testing of Long Beach, Calif.
The program is run jointly by the league and the players
association. It is the first time the league has had anti-doping
Players were not tested for the drugs on WADA's list of banned
substances that are prohibited only during competition, such as
stimulants. Some cold remedies that contain stimulants, such as
ephedrine, are suspected to be widely used by hockey players.
Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said the test results showed
that "doping is not a problem in our sport.
"We're pleased but not surprised by the results," he said.