MONTREAL - At Jose Theodore's request, the Canadiens held a press conference led by team doctor David Mulder on Thursday to shed light on the results of the goaltender's drug test that was made public earlier in the day.
Brought in to clarify any confusion regarding Theodore's positive test for a banned substance, Dr. Mulder explained how a prescribed medication that Theodore has been taking for almost a decade led to his positive test result.
"Jose has been taking Propecia, a medication to grow hair, for the last eight or nine years," said Mulder. "It was first prescribed by a dermatologist and I have also renewed the prescription myself. Propecia has recently been added to a list of masking agents for the banned androgenic steroid Nandrolone, a muscle mass building steroid often used primarily by weight lifters and wrestlers."
Propecia, which has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) banned list for barely a year, was added to the NHL's list of banned substances on Dec. 5, 2005.
"Jose was tested at a random drug testing session on Dec. 12 as a member of Team Canada's 81-player Olympic list, Mulder explained. "We were informed of Jose's positive test on the weekend of Jan. 14 by Team Canada head physician Jim Thorne. Jose and I called Dr. Thorne the following day and then, at Dr. Thorne's request, Jose provided a written explanation for his use of Propecia.
"The next step was my submission of a Therapeutic Use Exclusion (TUE), which explained Jose's case in detail and outlined the fact that Propecia has absolutely no performance enhancing properties and only assists in the regrowth of hair."
Mulder went on to explain how Theodore's case should have remained anonymous during the appeal process, but once it was announced that a player on Team Canada's list has tested postitive, the cloud of doubt cast over all of the players prompted Theodore to ask Mulder to make his name public.
"Jose was very concerned about how this type of speculation could affect Team Canada at the Olympics and urged me to clarify the situation," Mulder said. "Had Jose not come forward and then won his appeal, his name would never have been revealed."
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com