Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Performance-enhancing political committees
Bettman joins the big boys

How can you still tell hockey's a major-league sport in the United States?

Well, the Commish has been whisked off to meet with the politicos, called out with the other ringleaders to address society's latest Greatest Evil. (Substance abuse in professional sports.)

No Nascar honchos to be found. Tractor pull doesn't register on this ratings scale.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told a U.S. House subcommittee on Wednesday that hockey is not plagued by steroid use among its players.

Bettman joined his major-league counterparts — baseball commissioner Bud Selig, NBA commissioner David Stern and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell — in Washington where he testified that only one player has tested positive for steroid use in the 2½ years since the NHL resumed play after the 2004-05 lockout.
Bettman went on to tell the committee that substances that make one stronger or recover faster from injuries have little use for the average hockey player, who is a muscleless, uninjurable athlete:
"Indeed, while our historical experience indicates that performance-enhancing drugs are not a problem in the NHL, we nevertheless agree that the public at large and our fans in particular are entitled to have confidence that our games are being played in an environment free of performance-enhancing substances."
Historical experience indicates some pretty funny things about major league baseball, and even present experience would tell you the NFL is clean as can be.

Does anyone honestly believe that Sean Hill, the only guilty party found in two and a half years, is the only one?


Anyway, I think the NHL should use this opportunity to remind people they're still one of the four major sports, and haven't sunk into WNBA territory. Bettman should have a Versus logo on his forehead, and Doc Emrick could be brought in to do play-by-play.

I'd watch that.



At 1:46 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Don't be bitter you did not get hooked up with the Versus ice cube tray.

At 2:28 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Two summers ago Andrew Peters acknowledged being on steroids.

At 2:49 p.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm incensed that the commissioner of World's Strongest Man competitions wasn't invited.

At 3:22 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger sager said...

On behalf of both guys who follow the WNBA, let me register my offence that they're being compared to the NHL.

(Kidding.) Phoenix Mercury rules!

As if there aren't hockey players on the juice ... it's like they're still at the stage baseball was 20 years ago when they said steroids and HGH wouldn't make you a better ballplayer.

At 3:41 p.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, so you're saying in the sport that practically invented groin pulls and miraculous recovery times, no one has any interest in something that might help you recover from injury faster? Really?

At 4:48 p.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should Bettman use HGH so he can shop for big boy clothes?

At 5:24 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger Daniel said...

Wasn't Sean Hill looked at rather negatively amongst by his peers for using steroids? Hockey seems to be one of those sports that has a good root system, very honored amongst players. Play through the pain, play for your teammates because they need you out there. Do I believe everyone is clean? No. But I think the major majority of players are clean. Maybe I am naive.

At 5:45 p.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Mr DeBakey said...

Mrs DeBakey wants to know where a fella can git some of these performance enhancin drugs.

At 6:38 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

In comparison to other sports, steroids or HGH are the least of the NHL's worries.

Amphetamines is another story, and a story that is going to drop on the NHL at some point in time.

At 7:37 p.m., February 27, 2008, Blogger Hooks Orpik said...

PJ hit the nail on the head before I could.

It wouldn't surprise me if more than 1 NHL player in the past 2 and a half years have been on steriods but the more effective performance enhancing drug for this sport would be amphetamines....And as someone who has played collegiate level hockey, I can tell you it's there.

Bettman may be able to say with an honest conscience that the NHL doesn't have steroid/HGH issue like other league, but I would dispute that's the case with amphetamines.

At 7:54 p.m., February 27, 2008, Anonymous Mike in L.A. said...

I was just going to say that. In fact, back in 1998 or 2002, was there not a little uproar that NHLers would not be able to pop a whole case of Sudafed before each game in the Olympics as pseudoephedrine was an IOC banned substance?

At 3:20 p.m., February 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coca Cola is also a banned substance by the IOC so let's not use them as an example.


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