Major League Baseball has an awful lot of hits to its reputation these last few years. Players have taken enough legal(and less so) pharmaceutical products in order to improve their performance. It started becoming really obvious when Marc McGuire’s arms were bigger than most players legs. Baseball and the league keep falling in the court of public opinion. Even with players facing possible career ending suspensions, there is still going to be underground market for those who are willing to cheat in order to get ahead. (and yet Pete Rose is still banned for life.)
The National Hockey League has been fortunate in that regard. In the last few years, only a single player has been tested positive for PEDs. The NHL has kept its nose clean (no pun intended there baseball guys) when it comes to artificial assistance. Still, when a scandal of this magnitude breaks out in one professional sport, the other major leagues in other sports do tend to feel a little uncomfortable.
This morning, Chicago Blackhaws center Jonathan Toews was on a Toronto radio station talking about NHL players and performance enhancing drugs. Toews was straight forward on his opinions on testing for players and what sort of environment the cheaters create for other players in their sport.
“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,” said the Blackhawks forward. “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.” (You reading this A-Rod?) “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.”
When it came to the subject of testing, he held nothing back. “So the more tests the better.” said Toews. “It protects the guys that are being fair and are putting good things into their body. So I have no problem with (more testing).”
I’ve got a feeling that a serious majority of NHL players feel that way too.