NHL Begins Looking Into Steroid Claim, Interviewing Capitals Front-Office Employees

Monday, June 1, 2009

The NHL has interviewed Washington Capitals front-office employees as well as members of the team's medical and training staffs in recent days as it investigates allegations made by a Florida man arrested last week on steroid charges.

"We're following very closely the developments in Florida as the case progresses," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said yesterday. "We think it's important from the league's perspective to investigate this because any allegations of this type are concerning."

The league's investigation is being conducted by its security and legal departments.

Interviews with Capitals personnel are ongoing, Daly said, but so far investigators have not been able to establish any connection between the team and suspected drug dealer Richard Thomas, who was arrested Tuesday in Lakeland, Fla., and charged with possession and intent to distribute steroids. During a news conference that night, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Thomas claimed he had sold steroids to the Capitals and Washington Nationals.

"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. "We are in the process of touching base with relevant personnel within the Washington organization."

There is no timetable for the NHL to complete its investigation, Daly said. Federal authorities are also conducting an investigation into Thomas's claims.

-- Tarik El-Bashir

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