Jets just say no to drugs

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:13 AM ET

BUFFALO - Georges Laraque’s claim of performance enhancing drug use running rampant in the NHL was quickly refuted by several members of the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

When asked for a reaction to the former tough guy’s claims in his book The Story of the NHLs Unlikeliest Tough Guy, Jets forward Jim Slater took offence to the suggestion that performance enhancing drugs are a problem in today’s NHL.

“I don’t know the reason for him to come out and say it right now, to be honest with you,” said Slater. “For me personally, I’ve never seen any performance-enhancing drugs in the locker-room or around any of the players. I came in after the lockout, but I’ve been around a lot of different guys and I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s hard for me to know where he got it from.”

The insinuation also bothers guys like Slater and others, who must adhere to a strict diet and workout program in order to maintain a level of fitness that is now the rule and not the exception in the NHL.

“There’s a ton of guys in this locker-room that work hard in the summertime and eat right and do all of the right things,” said Slater. “To have someone come out and (allege steroids are an issue), the casual fan reads that and thinks everyone is doing it. That’s not the case at all.

“Like I said, I don’t know anybody that’s ever done it.”

Defenceman Sean Hill is the only player to be suspended under the NHL policy that was implemented coming out of the lockout in 2005, so it’s not like positive tests are getting swept under the rug.

“Where does that come from?” asked Jets forward Tanner Glass. “(Laraque’s claim) is ridiculous. It’s completely unfounded. What is he basing it on? The NHL has a drug-testing policy that they follow very strictly. I haven’t heard of one rumour ever in the past, other than this.

“So a guy comes out and says it and suddenly, it’s true? I don’t think so.”

“I don’t know what to make of it,” added Jets defenceman Mark Stuart. “For me, I can just speak from experience and it’s something I’ve never, ever seen in my years of playing. Maybe he saw it. I don’t know when or with who. I don’t have any experience with it.

“He’s a pretty outspoken guy and he’s just trying to do his thing after playing. I don’t know what the angle is. At the end of the day, I have to worry about myself and what I do.”


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