Toews on PEDs in NHL: "Naive to say there's no one trying to get that edge"
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews appeared on Sportsnet 590 the Fan on Wednesday, where host Joey Vendetta questioned Toews about the thorny issue of performance enhancing drug use in the NHL. Toews gave a surprisingly thoughtful, well informed answer and came out in favor of additional testing measures:
"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. 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.
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. So the more tests the better. It protects the guys that are being fair and are putting good things into their body. So I have no problem with (more testing)."
The NHL has so far been immune to the type of PED controversy that has swamped the baseball and cycling worlds over the past decade. The league's current drug-testing policy requires players to submit two tests during the season (a "team test", and a random no-notice individual player test).
The league can additionally compel a maximum of 60 players to take PED tests during the off-season. The relative dearth of off-season testing and the fact that the league doesn't currently test for human-growth hormone (HGH) has drawn criticism from some in the media.