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Ex-Enforcer Georges Laraque: Steroids and PEDs are a Problem in NHL

When the topic of performance-enhancing substances arises, we are almost never discussing hockey. For whatever reason, steroids and the NHL don’t go together. Either using PEDs is not a common practice in hockey, or testing is virtually ineffective. According to ex-enforcer Georges Laraque, steroid and illegal drug use was a problem in the NHL not too long ago.

As TSN shared with us, Laraque talks about steroid use in the NHL in his new book, “The Story of the NHL’s Unluckiest Tough Guy.”

“I have to say here that tough guys weren’t the only players using steroids in the NHL,” the former Canadien wrote. “It was true that quite a lot of them did use this drug, but other, more talented players did too. Most of us knew who they were, but not a single player, not even me, would ever think of raising his hand to break the silence and accuse a fellow player.”

Laraque explained that if you look at a player’s decrease in efficiency and weight loss, you’ll notice there is a significant drop every four years when the Winter Olympics are held.  Obviously, the Olympics have a strict drug testing policy which would result in players being declared ineligible if they were caught.

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Manny Pacquiao Reportedly Will Take Blood Tests without Cutoff Date

Even though Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been called a chicken for not fighting Manny Pacquiao (and in Michael Irvin’s words, made brothers look bad), the real reason negotiations have always broken down is because Pacquiao would never submit to complete Olympics-style drug testing.

At first, Pacquiao refused to have his blood drawn, citing a fear of needles. Then, his camp said he would submit to a blood test but there had to be a cutoff date prior to the fight (at least 14 days). That’s where most people got the story wrong. Just because Pacquiao was willing to take the blood test doesn’t mean he was open to random testing — his people wanted to have a cutoff date. Apparently that stance has finally changed.

Tucked into Lance Pugmire’s story on Floyd Mayweather Jr., who’s preparing for a September fight with Victor Ortiz, was this important nugget on Pacquiao’s new position.

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Anthony Gonzalez Believes Many NFL Players are Using HGH

The NFL is set to begin testing for HGH, possibly as early as Week 1 of the upcoming season. Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez believes the league is going to find a lot once testing is underway.  According to the Indy Star, Gonzalez said he would not be surprised if HGH use was widespread across the NFL.  That should not come as earth-shattering news to anyone, but it certainly carries more merit when coming from a player than a member of the media.

“How many guys are on it, that’s hard to say,” Gonzalez said. “It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it’s too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don’t add up; they don’t look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they’re in the NFL and they look totally different. I don’t know how prevalent it is at this point, but to say that it’s not being used, that’s wrong.”

The NFLPA can’t be happy about those comments.  Players try to protect themselves from random, invasive testing for a number of reasons.  Steelers safety Ryan Clark is one player who expressed concern with the testing, arguing that the players wanted to get a new CBA done so badly that testing was overlooked.  Clark and others wonder if the test will be “too invasive” and the league will use the blood to search for more than just HGH.  I can’t see that happening, and even if they did they would be in extremely hot water if they released the results.

If people are indeed using HGH, testing is necessary and will help clean up the game.  After all, it’s not like they’re testing for deer antler spray.

Chest bump to Shutdown Corner for the story.

MLB Warns Players Against Using Deer Antler Spray as Performance-Enhancer

Raise your hand if you’ve ever ground up the antlers of a deer and ingested the velvet for its performance-enhancing effect. Good, looks like we’re not alone here. Apparently ingesting deer antler spray is the latest rage among baseball players. So much so that MLB actually has issued a warning against players, according to Tom Verducci at SI.com.

Verducci writes that “chemists have figured out that the velvet from immature deer antlers includes insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-1, which mediates the level of human growth hormone in the body, and is also banned by MLB and the World Anti-Doping Agency, among others, for its muscle-building and fat-cutting effects.”

The best part about antler spray, if you’re so inclined, is that it cannot be detected by urine tests. So if you thought that baseball players weren’t juicing just because MLB is now testing, you were wrong. Players are just coming up with more creative ways to get around the tests. Next thing you know they’ll be doing this to get an edge.

Amir Khan Accuses Floyd Mayweather Jr. of Using Steroids in De La Hoya Fight

The loose-lipped uncle of boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is making accusations once again. Roger Mayweather, who trains his nephew Floyd, told Las Vegas Boxing Examiner Chris Robinson that the only reason Amir Khan has become successful is because he’s on stuff just like Manny Pacquiao. The Pacquiao accusations are nothing new (Manny has actually sued him over his remarks), but the Khan ones are.

Khan responded to Roger’s accusations by defending himself. “I’ve consistently proved that I am a clean fighter. This is nonsense. I’ve been tested repeatedly in my career, before and after fights, at home and my base in Los Angeles.

“Don’t forget that I came through the Olympics (in 2004) where testing is very thorough. I’ve never refused the test, even though I could have done so when I received an unannounced knock on the door a month after my last fight against Paul McCloskey.”

Khan then took things a step further, turning the tables on the Mayweather camp. Khan accused Floyd of using something to prepare for his fight with Oscar De La Hoya.

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Curt Schilling: No Team Has Won Cleanly in Last 20 Years

Baseball and steroids. It’s an American tradition as old as apple pie and Chevrolet. MLB finally began testing for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in the last five years and enacted a policy that punishes players who are caught cheating. Before that, it was the wild wild west where guys could pump their bodies full of horse testosterone and cow hormones and we’d all look the other way so long as they kept us entertained with 450-foot home runs. This isn’t fantasy, it’s reality. And Curt Schilling recognizes it.

The former six-time All-Star and World Series MVP talked steroids during a Wednesday interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (via Hardball Talk). “There’s a lot of good young pitchers in the game right now, but far fewer players are cheating,” Schilling said during his interview. “One of the bigger reasons they all did (steroids) was it allowed them to be April fresh in September and that helped you hit home runs. Anybody who ever says performance-enhancing drugs didn’t help players produce offensive numbers is full of crap. There isn’t a team in the last 20 years that has won clean,” he said.

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Floyd Mayweather: Shane Mosley Advised Getting Manny Pacquiao Drug Tested

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz kicked off a tour to publicize their September 17th fight with press conferences in LA and New York last week. The big story to emerge from the New York conference was Mayweather saying he absolutely wants to fight Manny Pacquiao. One of the stories to emerge from the LA press conference was Mayweather sharing that Shane Mosley, Pacquiao’s most recent opponent, advised Floyd to ensure he has Manny drug tested prior to their fight.

Mayweather wouldn’t reveal who reached out to whom with the conversation, but the contents are not a surprise. Mayweather told reporters “Shane Mosley, all he said was ‘You know what Floyd? If I were you, I would make him take the test.’ Especially saying before he went into the fight, he should have made him take the test.”

We all know the reason Shane Mosley didn’t ask for a drug test prior to the fight — all he cared about was cashing in on a huge payday; what happened in the ring was inconsequential.

You may recall that in May, Manny Pacquiao had to issue a denial statement after Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr. publicized a “story” that said Pacquiao was using performance-enhancing drugs. Knowing that, it’s no surprise Mosley made the suggestion to Floyd.

Demanding Pacquiao take Olympic-style drug testing is nothing new for Floyd. The talks for their potential fight stalled in 2009 when Pacquiao would not agree to Mayweather’s testing demands. As I said then and as I’ll repeat now, if Pacquiao doesn’t have anything to hide then drug testing should not be a problem. But the last person who should get involved with these conversations is Shane Mosley. Not only is he a cheater, but he also didn’t care about drug testing as long as he was making millions.