SUN Hockey Pool

No steroids in 'Kitty' litter

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Randy Carlyle -- the poster boy for steroids?

Sounds absurd, but that's the way it looked back in 1989, when Carlyle was reported to have tested positive while playing for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championship.

With all the talk of steroid use in sports this week, the Manitoba Moose head coach took some time yesterday to reflect on his 15 minutes of infamy, which took place in Sweden but caused quite a stir here.

Then a defenceman for the Winnipeg Jets -- and not one known for his physique, either -- Carlyle's world was turned upside down when an initial urine sample test showed signs of performance enhancing drugs.

"It was nuts," Carlyle recalled. "And that was just after Ben Johnson. So I was a headline on the national news. But the retraction was on the fifth page."

That retraction came after Carlyle's B-sample, shipped to Germany for further tests, came back negative.

But the mix-up caused him to miss a game against Sweden, not to mention a ton of embarrassment.

The former Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenceman wound up playing nine games at the worlds, scoring a goal and four assists. It would be his only experience playing for Canada.

And the only time he was ever accused of cheating to build muscle. For that matter, it was probably the only time 'Kitty' was ever accused of building muscle, period.

As for former minor-league tough guy Dave Morissette's claim this week that steroids are being used in pro hockey, the Moose boss says in his 17-year playing career he never saw it and never knew anyone who did it.

But that doesn't mean nobody's using the drugs.

"If it's in society, you can almost guarantee that it (is) in hockey," he said.


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