Reactions to Florida Steroids Story

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | , , | 1 comments »

Stan Kasten (via Nats Journal):

"I have to tell you, I just don't know anything more about this story than what you've read. Truly. I don't have any more information than that. I've spoken to MLB; they didn't have any more details on the story we all read this morning. ... I don't have any particular concerns, because as you've seen in recent times, baseball has the most stringent testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Players run afoul of rules, they're caught, and they're disciplined."

"My reaction," he added, "is limited to the things I hear authoritatively from MLB. That's the only time I would have a reaction."

NHL Statement (via Caps Insider):

"The Washington Capitals have no knowledge of any aspect of this allegation. Capitals players were subjected to no-notice testing three times in each of the past two seasons pursuant to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and there was no indication of any improper conduct or wrongdoing.

"Even though there are no specifics provided in the story and we have no reason, at this point, to believe the allegations are true, the National Hockey League takes all matters of this nature very seriously and will conduct a prompt investigation."

Capitals President Dick Patrick (again, via Caps Inisider):

"We have no reason to believe there is any merit to this story, but the National Hockey League and the Washington Capitals take all such allegations seriously.

Capitals players have fully participated in the NHL's random drug testing program, and at no point has a Capitals player tested positive. In addition our players have been tested at international events, such as World Championships and Olympics. We welcome and will fully cooperate with the NHL's investigation."

Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis (via Ted's Take):

Trust but Verify

There are now 178 news stories listed in Google News about today’s allegations coming out of Florida.

I am personally very committed to being responsible and cooperating with the league in all of its research regarding this matter.

Here are the official statements from the NHL and from our team which are just now being released.

I hope you all understand that while there is research and investigating going on that we will have to be silent as we cooperate and hope to exonerate our team and players from these allegations. Thank you for understanding.

The disturbing part of all this so far is the local law enforcement division's willingness to release this information last night without corroborating the story or doing any additional investigation.

Then today, to show he didn't make just a simple, one-time misjudgment in announcing the statements, Polk County sheriff Grady Judd called into a radio station in Toronto to repeat the currently unfounded allegations on a live radio program. Judd even went out of his way to mention that Thomas' statements had not been corroborated yet.

Among other things, Sheriff Judd suggests that Richard Thomas was proud of his accomplishments and supposes the suspects motivation in why Thomas named the Nationals and Capitals in his arrest. Seems to me Thomas isn't the only person proud of his accomplishments in this matter.

One of Judd's super-professional comments on the matter:

"I can tell you this, there will be a whole lot of people puckered up after the morning news,'" Judd said.
Here's hoping the Feds get to central Florida and take this investigation over before Sheriff Judd does any real damage.

Caps, Nats Linked to Steroid Report

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | , , , | 0 comments »

A Lakeland, FL man and his wife were arrested yesterday for possession and intent to sell or deliver anabolic steroids, and the man implicated professional athletes as clients, including players on the Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals.

According to the Lakeland Ledger, Richard Thomas identified himself as "the largest anabolic steroids dealer in Central Florida," upon his arrest, and that he provided steroids to professional baseball, football and hockey players.

The Thomases failed to name any particular athletes during the warrant and seizure, where police collected an estimated $200,000 in illegal steroids and multiple weapons.

Richard and Sandra Thomas are each charged with 10 counts of possession of anabolic steroids with intention to sell and deliver; one count of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony; 10 counts of importation of anabolic steroids in Florida; and one count of maintaining a residence for selling drugs.

"This is beyond any doubt the largest seizure of anabolic steroids by the Polk County Sheriff's Office," a police spokesman said.

While the initial report is certainly troubling, from the tone of the initial reports, police seem to be skeptical as to whether Thomas is telling the truth in his claims. In a segment aired on WFLA-TV last night, the sheriff's office made a statement that they have no evidence of specific players involved in this investigation to this point.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, "The only thing [Thomas] said specifically was he sold to the Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals. We asked him, because we knew that would create a firestorm, on two more occasions because we don't want to be quoted as saying that. Richard Thomas told us that he sold steroids to ballplayers on those teams. Now is that one ballplayer? Is that two ballplayers? We don't know."
We don't know. Yet. But if this guy's claims have any validity, we'll find out soon enough. Hopefully the investigation will be swift and whatever conclusions are drawn can be handled expeditiously.

It's a shame that after such a terrific season, this comes out. Hopefully this guy is filled with delusions of grandeur and the police don't find any evidence connecting the Capitals with the investigation.

Fedorov Returning to Russia?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | , , | 0 comments »

Several stories this morning pointing toward veteran center and future hall-of-famer Sergei Fedorov is close to an agreement to play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL next season.

Capitals Insider reports that the deal is not done and that Fedorov "still has interest in playing for Washington next season," but a decision by the Caps would have to be made soon if they hope to retain his services.

The deal is reportedly a two-year contract worth $3.8 million per, and if that information is correct, it's highly doubtful the Caps will be willing to come close, let alone match, that offer.

The 39-year old Fedorov, an 18-year NHL veteran, had 11 goals and 22 assists this season in 52 games. He was plus-6 with 50 penalty minutes, his highest total in penalties minutes per game in several seasons.

Fedorov is the all-time leader in goals for Russian-born players with 483, and has 1179 points in 1248 career games. He won three Stanley Cups with Detroit and was the 1994 Hart and Pearson trophies winner.