Laraque's right: Put an end to two solitudes of drug testing
Georges Laraque is right: Drug testing in the NHL is a sham.
The league should be testing for blood. The random testing should really be random.
It's mind blowing when you consider the two solitudes of drug testing:
Olympic athletes, most of whom go into debt to compete at the highest level, have to let drug testers know their whereabouts 24-7 and pee and give blood on command, while Laraque alleges the millionaire NHLers get tipped off about when the drug testers are coming and have no worries at all if they want to use hgh, only detectable by blood testing and known as a performance enhancer of choice.
Why shouldn't the NHL be on a par with the Olympics when it comes to drug testing? Their players are the biggest role models in our country, yet on the drug testing front they're being held to a very low standard.
As Laraque says: “Do you want to show the sports world hockey is clean? Why can't you go to people's homes? Why not spend a bit of money? Why don't we take blood? Why don't we do it the right way?' The NHL should test for everything. If somebody has a problem, then we can help him and prevent more deaths.”
Among those applauding Laraque's stance is Canada's Olympic triathlon coach from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Barrie Shepley.
"Georges Laraque has a lot of courage for acknowledging that the league that he loved and played in for so many years is flawed and needs to beef up their drug testing program" said Shepley. "While I certainly don't think that the majority of the NHL are using drugs, I think its naïve to think that millionaire hockey players, who need strength and endurance to stay in the league, are not using performance enhancing drugs in some proportion.
"IF the NHL really wants to take a leadership role in their fight against drug use at all levels in their sport, they should agree to have all the players on the big club and their development leagues be available for year round, random drug testing (blood and urine). My elite Canadian Olympic athletes have to be available 365 days a year to be drug tested at any time and they accept that drug testing helps keep drugs out of our sport (triathlon) and make a fair competition for all.”
Ain't gonna happen. The union will never let it happen. Neither will the league. They don't seem to want to know the extent of any problem, despite the three tragic deaths of three enforcers this past summer.
The thing is they're under no pressure to do it. The fans don't really care what these guys might be jacked up on. They just want entertainment.
But big Georges makes sense. The NHL needs to do the right thing.