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Toews on PEDs: ‘the more tests the better’

Aug 14, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

toewsgloveoffgetty Getty Images

As that whole thing with Alex Rodriguez continues to drag on in the world of baseball, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews took to the airwaves today on Sportsnet 590 and spoke candidly about performance-enhancing drugs in the NHL.

Does Toews think there’s a PED problem in hockey?

“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 Toews, per “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).”

Per the summary of the new CBA, here’s how the NHL tests players for PEDs:

Drug testing in Training Camp (beginning in 2013/14 season), once during the Regular Season as part of “team testing,” and additional random, no-notice testing on individual Players:
a) throughout the Regular Season,

b) during the Playoffs, and
c) during the off-season (no more than 60 tests per off-season and subject to NHL/NHLPA agreement on logistics and off-season testing protocols).

But despite the “enhanced drug testing policies and protocols,” there remain those who think the NHL has its head in the sand when it comes to PEDs, and that scandals are only a matter of time.

  1. sjsharks66 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Im kind of excited to find out the first person to be caught taking ped’s.

    • ray2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      It will probably be disappointing; some third or fourth line guy who does whatever he can to stay in the NHL. But maybe it’ll be someone of note.

      • badintent - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:04 AM

        It will be that famous skater on thin ice. Arodless

    • drone501 - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:17 AM

      when i played on a slowpitch softball team i did it all on talent alone, didn’t need any stinking PEDS.

  2. nj666 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Yeah I bet towes would love this until someone on his team gets caught…

    • adambballn - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Considering the significant number of guys the Blackhawks have the play internationally for their country’s team and in the Olympics I think it’s pretty unlikely any of the Blackhawks are juicing.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Agreed, especially the use of PED’s for strength and adding bulk. Hawks personify the high-skill, skating-focused approach to competing, vs “physical” as a means to an end.

        And to further Adam’s point, 13 of the guys who finished the season with the Hawks were named to their team’s potential olympic team, the most in the league (I think the Pens were next at 10).

      • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        I understand that, but how many Olympic athletes test positive? It’s certainly not zero. It most likely greatly reduces the number of offenders.

        There are probably plenty of 3rd or 4th liners who will never be subjected to international testing who use HGH to recover faster or the best of the best who have found a way to hide it.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    The more likely abuse would be using HGH or some similar agent, not for bulking up, but for faster recovery from injury. That’s what Andy Pettit admitted if my memory is correct, and HGH is much harder to detect.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Exactly. I would think HGH would be mighty appealing given the grind of an 82 game season.

  4. c1md6 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Ugh this guy never stops whining about something, he’s Crosby West.

    • jcmeyer10 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      What? He was asked and gave a completely level head answer. He’s clean, he wants his sport to be clean.

      Even Olympic athletes test positive so that cannot be a reason to say the sport is clean. I am A B’s fan who cannot but help to agree with his assessment.

    • sunderlanding - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      Almost as bad as you whining about their whining.

  5. spitfisher - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    PEDs and other drugs, are prevalent in ANY sport where millions are being dished out for performance. To think otherwise is just crazy. Any athlete today, from golfers, to surfers to NFL players that is making million$ and is performing at a bench mark higher than previous athletes of the same sports or events, must be considered as possible PED user. these guys make so much money they spend in areas that stay ahead of the testing of these designer drugs. Heck even the Feds didn’t even know of the topical cream existed (that Bonds used) with Balco investigation until they heard about it in court. Lance Armstrong got bagged ( litteraly) by a very old blood test that later was tested & showed minuscule particles of intravenous plastic bag- commonly used for blood doping and Oxegenating blood- AKA Cheating. Today there are 1000s and 1000s of synthetic versions of PEDS, and 1000s and 1000s of masking agents to hide even further and throw off the drug tests. Drug test themselves are not search warrant of lets see what we can find. Often they are very specific.

    There is just too much money being handed out to athletes, I know training methods, equipment, diet and coaching has changed things.

    Don’t confuse my statement that all of the highest grade athletes are on PEDS- just don’t be gullible to think your hero couldn’t possibly be on them. They sure as heck won’t admit it, until, they’re are caught red handed.

  6. pone27 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    @c1md6: Be mad that Toews is a real man, a true leader, and 2 time Stanley Cup winner at 25.

    Back to the topic, while there has to be some guys who are using PEDs, to think its to any level that it is at in baseball, football, etc. would be crazy to think.

    Most to all pro hockey players come from a very high financial living, who went to top schools from pre-school through college. Hockey is not a cheap sport. The level or morals is very high in hockey.

    Not making that a single reason for my outlook, for we could argue that if anything, that would promote parents to almost promote it to their children.

    But do we ever hear about a kid who all of sudden balloons from 185 to 220 in 2 years? I think the sport just from a moral/competition aspect is very leveled compared to other sports where PEDs are pronounced. I hope I am right.

    • imleftcoast - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Agreed on c1md6. If you’re not a hockey fan, don’t bother to try to dish it out on here. That was pathetic.

      On ARod, I’m certainly no fan of his, but I think the MLB would release the failed tests if it had any. I don’t think he’s innocent, but I doubt they have enough to uphold the suspension. He’s got the money and ego to drag this out in court, and take everyone through the mud with him. Maybe the NHL should wait to see how that ends before following the MLB’s example.

  7. dan46778 - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    What helps hockey with guys not taking peds is all the International and Olympics Tournaments… Which cuts down on the number of superstars taking them bc they want to Represent there country

  8. blackhawks2010 - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    It’s hilarious to see the Hawks haters show up to voice their opinion which is worthless, uneducated and jealousy tinged. Love it.

    We will destroy your teams, again :). Bu bye, bu bye.

  9. c1md6 - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Love the “real man” joke, I bet you kiss his poster every night before you go to sleep. And yes I’m a very big hockey fan, enough of a fan to know that outside of the Cinderella in Pittsburgh, he’s the biggest baby on skates constantly crying to the officials in between the whistles, and if you’re too blind to see it it’s probably because you’re top busy foaming at the mouth in the presence of a “real man” haha so pathetic.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      You poor sap. Suffering from Cup Envy, obviously. Sorry you don’t have any class, but don’t take out your frustrations on one of the classiest and all around best captains in pro sports. Crawl back in your hole and climb out when you have a clue.

  10. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    1) c1md6 please stop talking, you’re a tool. Actually that’s insulting to most tools, especially power tools, power tools are awesome. Tools I apologize for demeaning you in such a manner by referencing you in the same context as this buffoon… Although to be fair that’s not really fair to buffoons either, but what do you want? This chump didn’t even have the courtesy of choosing a real name that we could now use as it’s own derogatory term, you can’t very well call someone a c1md6, they’ll think you’re a tool.

    2) to the user who posted some inane comment about most hockey players being from a better financial background and then in some insane manner extrapolating that they therefore have a higher moral standard, simply because of a wealthier upbringing, well you really are a tool. I’m not entirely sure what Ism you’re displaying with that comment, but you’re certainly displaying one, and in the immortal paraphrase of Mr. Ferris Bueller “Isms are generally bad.” Or something like that.

    3) any comment I made along these lines were censored by the message nazi’s at pro basketball talk, so I’ll simplify and just ask a question then; why are PED’s bad? Or rather why are some specific PED’s that we arbitrarily decide are bad in some cases but maybe not bad in others? Would it be bad if instead of banning PED’s we mandated that every player HAS to take PED’s to play in the league? Wouldn’t that solve any silly fairness or equality complaints?

    4) Nimrod, c1md6 is a Nimrod. Perfect, that’s a greatly under-utilized word, what a Nimrod he/she/it is.

  11. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    P.s. I think it’s an It

  12. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    One factor that nobody has discussed on thie thread is that with those supplying the PED have now been very publically busted again. Whatever they tried to gain is lost, they won’t be able to do anything in the field of sports again and will do time.

    Think of the economics concept of supply and demand.

    These big, very public busts have to ultimately impact the supply side.

    And to the poster who suggested that they be legalized, as a clinical analyst I am appalled. Do you have any idea of what the long term consequences of roids are? And the bigger adverse effects on HS boys taking them? Legalizing would be effectively giving approval to a much broader group wanting to get a “winning edge”.

    It would be utterly irresponsible. Winning is NOT everything.

    • spitfisher - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      The people, scientist and highly knowledgeable pharmacists make a heck of a lot more money playing cat and mouse with the authorities than they would standing behind a counter at Walgreens for a decade.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      HGH and steroids are legal.

  13. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Legalization does not mean no regulation. And we’re not talking about steroids of which the long term consequences are many, varied and devastating, especially when misused, but more importantly well-known to anyone who attended middle school. You know what else is? Prescription pain medication, alcohol, laxatives, Tylenol, ibuprofen. Anything can be misused to cause long term health problems, and we don’t quite seem to be about to criminalize everything now do we? The PED controversy in question right now stems from the use of HGH, a hormone naturally occurring in the human body anyway. It’s doesn’t excuse it’s misuse, or the the use of other PEDs but my question is why are they specifically banned without question and others not? Caffeine is a PED by definition, and its long term misuse can have even fatal consequences and yet no one ever discusses it being banned. And even if we were talking about the very worst steroids that cause the most severe long term damages, if a person is fully informed about the dangers and chooses to engage in that practice anyway who are you to say they can’t? Unprotected sex is an incredibly risky activity, and again anyone who has ever attended middle school knows that, and yet more people then I care to think about are having unprotected sex this very instant, full well knowing the inherent dangers, would you like to make that illegal too? Now if you want to make the argument that if it were accepted with regulations, people would abuse those regulations, sure I agree, people are scumbags, but c’mon man that applies to every regulation ever, because, again, people are scumbags. Would some HS coaches or parents force uneducated kids to take this drugs for a winning edge? Sure, probably, and when they’re caught they should be strung up by their toenails, but how about instead of applying the minimum mental effort and simply saying I’m not prepared to be a good enough father/teacher/trainer/coach/doctor to educate my offspring/team/patient/student(s) about the dangers of misuse so someone else should simply make it illegal and take the problem off my hands, you show some responsibility and educate the people you’re responsible for so that they don’t misuse these types of things even when pressured. Or if they do, they do so knowing full well the implications of doing so. How high-handed are you to say to someone I don’t believe in sacrificing what you’re prepared to sacrifice to achieve your goals, so instead I’ll simply make it so you can’t. What a load, I have no idea what a clinical analyst does, but I’m sure it required a great deal of time and study to get there, and I’m also sure you probably drank copious amounts of caffeine while studying to get there, by your logic if someone thought they wouldn’t like the long term chance of high blood pressure and all its associated maladies from caffeine over-indulgence, then that should be banned too, and then where would you be? Winning may not be everything TO YOU, but who are you to tell someone else how or what to think? Communist Russia? Sharia (the incredibly harsh Islamic legal code)? Do you think Kobe cares about anything but winning? Is he wrong for that? No, he is in fact, celebrated for it, so get your head out whatever heavenly tower you’re sitting in and try thinking for yourself, and not lording your opinions over those of everyone else’s.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      What a line orf rubbish. And FYI, just in case you are concerned, I actually did not drink any coffee while in school and still managed to graduate with high honors. Drink some coffee now, and at 58, I still have BELOW average blood pressure (I’m also a serious cyclist, when I ride with my 22 year old son, he’s the one who needs to rest 1st.

      And no, high schoolers are not prepared to fully weigh informed consent and the risks of steriods. There is a reason they are still regarded as MINORS. We don’t allow them to enter into contracts, be treated without parental consent, get married, go into the armed services………….

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Awesome that you’re still re-living the glory days of high school at 58.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      You should write longer posts with no spaces. Everyone will read those too.

  14. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    As you said – some coffee – while the problem is with those who misuse and overindulge in its use (which are almost the exact words I used, so now I’ve paraphrased myself, dang). As to the rest of your point, we allow people to start getting a driver’s permit at age 16, the age of consent for sex is 14 if the other participant is under the age of 17, so now all you’re quibbling about (rather endearingly childishly) is where and how you set the limits or – wait for it – REGULATIONS as to how they are used or proscribed (again referencing basically my very first sentence, although without paraphrasing this time, whew). Now extrapolating from your objection to only minors being unable to make the informed consent, you do then agree that people who have reached the age at which we allow them to make decisions for themselves (geez what a concept) are allowed therefore to make the decision TO use the substances about which we are debating? If that is indeed the case you have already agreed with all of my previous points, and merely made your last comment to proclaim how fit you are at the ripe old age of 58. Again, rather endearingly childish.

  15. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    P.s. I am in no way whatsoever concerned about your health or ability to cycle… Although if you want to talk about a sport with PED problems…

  16. c1md6 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Did I hurt your feelings? You mad bro?

  17. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Super mad bro… Although more mad cow then anything, I mean I never claimed not to have prions eating tons of little holes in my brain, after all… Besides honestly, although I think your comments were idiotic, I was really just ragging on you so the censor folks would read the first part of my post and ignore the rest, the people at the ProFootballTalk and ProBasketballTalk censorsorium hate me

  18. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    What you can’t read anything that is longer then a few lines long? Your attention span is that short? Have YOU been misusing various drugs and other banned substances? I’ve heard that they impair the brain’s ability to… Wait what we’re we talking about?

  19. jacktin - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    All of you folks need to calm down !!! THE ONLY PED IN HOCKEY IS BEER.

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