WADA targets NHL playoffs

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:23 PM ET

The World Anti-Doping Agency's president said he will continue to lobby the National Hockey League to test players for steroids during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I am disappointed," John Fahey said in a Monday teleconference from WADA headquarters in Montreal. "The fact is there's a lot more work to be done here, but there is dialogue. I assure you as we come to the conclusion of another season that there is a program ahead particularly in the off-season to continue to work through these issues."

Players can be tested for performance-enhancing drugs up to three times between training camp and the end of regular season, but there is no testing during the playoffs or off-season.

Fahey, who attended Thursday's Game 4 of the Montreal Canadiens-Pittsburgh Penguins series, called hockey "a wonderful game, a wonderful sport we'd love to see code compliant.

"Rest assured we will continue to work at the NHL level to achieve that outcome. We're making some progress in discussions," said Fahey, Australia's former finance minister.

The NHL is the only body among North America's big four professional team leagues that does not test players during playoffs.

In 2007, New York Islander Sean Hill became the only player to test positive under the league's 2005 policy, but the banned substance was not disclosed. He was suspended for 20 games.

Fahey's WADA predecessor Dick Pound, who is Canada's senior International Olympic Committee member, said in 2005 that a third of NHLers are doping.

Teams at the World Hockey Championship in Germany are warming up with green pucks emblazoned with the slogan "doping is offside" as part of an International Ice Hockey Federation campaign. The IIHF anti-doping video shot in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics features Wayne Gretzky and Hayley Wickenheiser.

Svetlana Terenteva of Russia and Lubomir Visnovsky of Slovakia were reprimanded but not suspended in Vancouver after testing positive for banned stimulants contained in cold medicines.


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