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Stanley Cup Final

Capitals, NHL issue statements on steroids claim

Wednesday, 05.27.2009 / 3:01 PM / News

NHL.com

Police officials in Lakeland, Fla., arrested a couple Tuesday on major charges of steroids possession. The couple, Richard and Sandra Thomas, claimed to have sold anabolic steroids to players on the Washington Capitals among other professional athletes, according to reports in the Tampa Tribune and Washington Times.

The Capitals and the NHL have both issued statements about the matter.

"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," said Capitals president Dick Patrick in a team release. "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."

"The Washington Capitals have no knowledge of any aspect of this allegation," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "Capitals players were subjected to no-notice testing five separate times over the past two seasons pursuant to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and there was no indication of any improper conduct or wrongdoing."

Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff Grady Judd said Tuesday the couple has been charged with 10 counts of steroid possession with intent to distribute, 10 counts of importing the drugs and one count of maintaining a residence for drug sales. Judd said Richard Thomas boasted about being one of Florida's biggest steroids, but did not name any individual players while mentioning the Capitals and Washington Nationals major league baseball teams.

"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," said Daly.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round