Thursday, February 09, 2006

Canadian Player Fails Drug Test (Not In The NHL)

The Canadian Olympic hockey team is reeling because of executive director Wayne Gretzky's possible ties to a gambling ring that was bankrolled by his NHL assistant coach Rick Tocchet. There is further news that could leave it with another off ice distraction. The Inernational Olympic Committee is reporting that a player on the Canadian long list of eligible players for the Olympics who did not make the team or the taxi squad has tested positive for a banned substance.

It is reported that he tested positive for a hair restoration product which is found in Rogaine or Propecia. This product is not a performance enhancing drug but can be used to mask anabolic steroids. The case is currently being appealed.

In January, it was reported that Bryan Berard tested positive for steroids. He was an eligible player for the US Olympic team but did not get selected for the final team. This is a more serious case for the NHL in that it steroids and not a hair restoration product he tested positive for. The NHL cannot suspend either of these players (should they want to) because their CBA only allows for suspensions from NHL tests - which makes the NHL look bad.

Likely, this player was merely using a hair restoration product to prevent from going bald and had no idea that it could be used to mask steroids. The player will likely be upset to learn that the world now knows that he is fighting premature hair loss. Nevertheless, the Canadian Olympic team does not need this bad press on the eve of the Olympics.

Here is TSN's article on the story.

UPDATE: It was Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens who tested positive for a hair restoration product, which he claims to have been taken for years and to be unaware that it was banned by the IOC.

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