Monday, June 1, 2009
Caps personnel interviewed by NHL
ESPN.com news services
Perhaps taking a cue from Major League Baseball, the NHL is investigating whether a Florida man arrested last week for importing and possessing steroids provided the drugs to any of its players.
The NHL recently has interviewed members of the Washington Capitals' front office, medical and training staffs.
"We're following very closely the developments in Florida as the case progresses," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Washington Post on Sunday. "We think it's important from the league's perspective to investigate this because any allegations of this type are concerning."
Upon his arrest Tuesday, Richard Thomas of Lakeland, Fla., told police that he had provided drugs to numerous professional athletes. He did not mention names or offer evidence to support his allegations, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. Thomas' wife, Sandra, also was arrested in the bust.
The Thomases face 21 state charges of importing and possessing steroids and other controlled drugs.
"We asked him if he'd sold to major professional athletes, and his quote was 'You name the sport, we've sold to them,'" Judd told ESPN's T.J. Quinn last week. "He didn't name specifics, but he said he had dealt with [players for] the Washington Nationals and the Capitals."
According to The Post, NHL investigators have been unable to make a connection between Thomas and the Caps. Major League Baseball also is cooperating in the case.
"There were no specifics to the allegations other than somebody who got arrested said something without naming any particular people or players," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday. "No one is certain, based on what we've been able to learn so far, that there's anything there.
"But because we take this entire matter very seriously, the matter of performance-enhancing drugs, we are investigating."
The NHL's probe is being spearheaded by its security and legal departments, The Post reported, and interviews with Capitals personnel are ongoing, Daly told the newspaper.
"While there seems to be no evidence to this point that would substantiate any of the claims, it's something we feel we have an obligation to follow up on," Daly said, according to The Post. "We are in the process of touching base with relevant personnel within the Washington organization."