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Capitals' statement regarding steroids probe

The Capitals have just released the following statement regarding the steroids investigation of a Reston chiropractor with ties to the team:

Florida law enforcement authorities have continued their steroid investigation following the arrest of Florida resident Richard Thomas in May 2009. The Washington Capitals are not the target of this investigation, and there is no evidence that steroids were provided to any Capitals players.
This has been a thorough investigation, and we are satisfied that law enforcement, the NHL and our own internal investigation have not led to any link of steroid use by Capitals players.
The investigation included conversations with the Washington Capitals as far back as September 2009, and we were and have been fully cooperative and transparent in the past as well as today.
Dr. Douglas Owen Nagel, a Virginia chiropractor who was arrested today, is not affiliated with the Washington Capitals and is not the "team chiropractor," as he has stated. Dr. Nagel's office, however, has seen some of our players for standard, routine chiropractic services.
As part of the NHL's drug policy, Capitals players are randomly tested up to three times per year by an independent testing agency, which sends the samples to the World Anti Doping Association for testing. Capitals players have been tested twice so far this year. At no time in our history has a Capitals player ever tested positive.

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 23, 2010; 4:34 PM ET
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Next: Laich to be reevaluated tomorrow


The Caps statement is reassuring. I hope this is the end of it, as far as the Caps go.

Posted by: zmega | March 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, can we move forward pls? There's a Pittsburgh team that needs to get stomped tomorrow night, and a Cup to be won in the near future.

Posted by: cbs75 | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

what exactly is the NHL drug policy anyway?

who was the last player caught using a banned substance?

Posted by: joek443 | March 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

who was the last player caught using a banned substance?

Posted by: joek443 | March 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: shawnshupe | March 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Sean Hill is the only one I can remember failing a drug test. He got a 20 game suspension...

Interesting comment about Theo tho at the end of that article.

Posted by: SuperG5 | March 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

From day one of this story, it just seemed very odd that the Capitals were mentioned by the dude arrested in Florida.

Hopefully, there is nothing to it but my gut tells me otherwise.

I don't think some random roids dealer in Florida mentions the Capitals unless he clearly got that information from the doctor in Virginia.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

so Theo was juiced up too... LOL who knew

Posted by: joek443 | March 23, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how quick we forgot that Laich was hurt today. Any updates on his status? Hopefully it's just a cut and a bruise and not a broken orbital.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Those investigators don't come all the way to KCI today unless they had some solid information.

If I had to bet, I'd guess that at least one current or former Capital took some illegal substance obtained from that Reston doctor.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Dr." Nagel also has an office in Ballston Common Mall...pretty easy to swing upstairs after visiting his office.

Posted by: SuperG5 | March 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

What's even more incriminating is that the investigators aren't even looking further into the Nationals - just the Capitals.

Those investigators have very specific names.

The question to me is merely whether they can find evidence to support the claims.

Again, if they came all the way to KCI, they have names. If they don't find concrete evidence, we'll never hear those names. That doesn't mean that no current or former Capital used a banned substance - just that they couldn't prove it.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If, in fact, any Capital used an illegal substance, I hope it was one of the older guys like Fedorov or Kozlov.

It's not that I'd be happy if it was one of those guys - they'd still be cheaters. I'd just be somewhat relieved that it wasn't any current players.

Hopefully, there is no evidence to support the Reston doctor's claims because they got names out of him.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse


I thought I read that they found names of Capital players connected to Nagel. Now his office did perform chiropractic servies for some and they could be checking to see if his chiropractic sevices were just a cover for PEDs or if they were actually chiropractic services.

But like you said, for law enforcement they will need solid evidence and while there may be a list of names they will need more than that.

In addition, usually law enforcement uses the players to get to the dealers. But with the dealers already caught you would think an investigation into what players used PEDs would be a waste of money since they are unlikely selling any PEDs.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that too with the Caps schedule. That could be very interesting to see how it turns out and how the Caps approach thos games.
I also wouldn't throw out the possibility of either Ottawa, Montreal or Philly dropping into the 8th seed.
In addition, looking at the Rangers schedule they still have a decent shot. They got some relatively easy games with 6 of their next 8 against non-playoff teams. On the other hand the Rangers would have to win some of those games so it is unlikely to happen.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 4:10 PM


I know I'm probably not qualified to even suggest coaching strategy on this one, but FWIW I'm all for the hockey equivalent of "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out".

In other words, the Caps should play to win each and every game, and let the chips fall where they may. As always, one of the best ways to accomplish this is to Score More Goals.

Posted by: Rhino40 | March 23, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse


I agree.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

This is Crosby's fault.

Posted by: Fro_ | March 23, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse


Those are some good points.

My guess would be that nothing happens to any current or former Capitals players, regardless of whether or not any of them used any banned substances.

Still, this is an unsettling story and my guess is that the investigators have information beyond just that some Capitals visited him for chiropractic services. I don't think they'd go all the way to KCI today without that kind of information.

When it comes down to it, my guess is that the roids dealer in Florida doesn't say what he said last year about Capitals players unless he specifically heard it from the Reston doctor. That roids dealer probably knew next to nothing about hockey and even less about the Capitals.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse


I agree that it is unsettling and it is unlikely something will come from it, whether some Caps used PEDs or not.

However, another possibility would be for the Reston doctor or the Florida guy to come forward and name names to a news magazine in return for money. They could hand over documents and what not to the magazine in return for money. Or even possibly sign a book deal (small money book deal, but money nonetheless).

This could then turn into a disaster because the doctor or florida guy may not be completely truthful and name big name guys who were not involved as well as guys who were involved.

Either way, a lot could still come of this even though it may not come from a government office. But we can all agree on that this is quite unsettling.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

And, I don't think that the chiropractor simply told the dealer that he works with the Capitals and the dealer read too much into it. That's possible but I think there was more to it. I think the dealer made those specific claims last year because he specifically heard from the chiropractor that he was supplying Capitals players.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Mike Brehm (8 friends, send message) wrote: 12/16/2007 10:07:35 AM
I just wanted to make a clarification in this wire story. Theodore tested positive for finasteride, which the IOC lists as a potential masking agent. It's also the main ingredient in Propecia, the hair restorative product. Theodore had received league permission to take Propecia for therapeutic use. It was in his system when he took a doping test for the Canadian Olympic team. Thanks, Mike Brehm, USA TODAY hockey editor

Posted by: pressmad | March 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

A positive way to look at it is that the Reston doctor was exaggerating his connection with the Capitals to make himself look better. I'm sure steroid dealers want to be known to be supplying to professional sports teams.

So even though he only had a professional connection and maybe helped one Caps player get some PEDs the Reston doctor then boasted that he was supplying the Capitals with PEDs and how they will buy from him. These statements could have been written in an email or something that the government has seized which led them to investigate the Caps further.

Not saying this is what happened, but it is a potential positive way to look at what may have happened.

Posted by: sgm3 | March 23, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse


Yea, I think that in the end, nothing official will ever come out about any of our players but there will be various unsubstantiated rumors. I do think those rumors will involve specific names but they will originate from highly unreliable sources.

Again, my guess is that at least one current or former Caps player received a banned substance from this Reston chiropractor but we'll likely never find that out for a fact.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I blame it all on Sluggo! Ever since he left town, the team has gone down hill. Where's Cheef when you need him? He can blame GMGM or Uncle Ted!

For the record, I met Sluggo was a long time ago...he was ordering a chicken parm, he wasn't paying for it of course. But anyways, I asked Sluggo if it was a good job working for the Caps and stated, "Son if you wanna be the man, you gotta beat the man!" as he wiped some overflow chicken parm from his fat jiggly third chin. I don't know what he meant by that, but that's what he said. Oh yeah, it's all GMGM's fault...this steroid probe!

Posted by: Squigsfan83 | March 23, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I believe that this doctor was absolutley affiliated with the Capitals and that the Capitals were well aware of his connection to the team.

He doesn't put that sign on his door and advertise the affiliation on his website without the Caps being aware of it.

The Caps even admit that players went to him. The players saw the sign on his door.

If the organization didn't approve of him claiming to be affiliated with the team, they would have done something about it.

They're just trying to disassociate with him now because of this whole steroids case.

Posted by: tmac2yao | March 23, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

it is also routine that investigators follow up on leads that can bolster their case or even expand it beyond a small time chiropractor. why would they travel to DC when the team was just there? possibly because only working directly with the caps front office would satisfy their questions.
it is not a big leap to believe that they are interested in players - but would fla authorities have any jurisdiction on players taking ped's - unless they could prove that the activity took place in fla.
i'm not convinced this inquiry had anything to do with specific players on the caps - but just to confirm or imporve their position of the case

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | March 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I think you're probably wrong on the last point, TMAC. People in the medical profession consider affiliation with a successful sports team to be like gold, so they can really cash in on claims of such affiliation. Chiros are not exactly the elite of the medical profession. It would not be shocking if he made his claim based on seeing a couple of Caps a few times. GMGM may have either not known about the chiro's claim or may have decided at the time that it was harmless. The moral of the story may be to be diligent in policing claims of affiliation. The Caps would not issue a statement denying the affiliation if there was any concrete evidence that the affiliation exists in any formal sense (e.g., a contract).

Posted by: zmega | March 23, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

lol...GMGM deals with hockey not chiropractors. It would be interesting to find out how this dude got a "capitals" sign on his door and who in the organization sets up or authorizes visits to non-team physicians (and fake wanna-be physicians like chiropractors.)

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | March 23, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

At the end of the day you never know what took place:

A. A Cap really did take roids

B. Dealer in FL knows Dr. in VA who treats athletes. There's his bargaining chip if he ever gets caught.

You never know.

Posted by: CF11555 | March 23, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

the sign on the guy's door is not the Caps' logo, its just his own random font... anyone could burn that on the glass without facing any risk.

But he does say "Chiropractor, Washington Capitals", as if that was a defining affiliation... pretty bold for someone who isn't officially connected

Posted by: capsfan7 | March 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I did not appreciate how Comcast Sports Net handled this as "breaking news" this afternoon, almost sensationalizing it. You better chill out Hillary or we'll send you back to Canada.


Posted by: DCSPORTSFANATIC | March 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: There's some kind of federal law that you can't make a profit from doing something illegal. So, a person who sold steroids, can't write a "tell all" book and make money from it. I'm not a lawyer and I can't be sure but that was brought up when OJ Simpson was trying to make money to pay his bills. Someone in the media had made a point that he couldn't write a book, after all the lawsuits had been settled, "How I Killed My Wife and Her Boyfriend."

Posted by: tominfl1 | March 23, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Dr nagel was my chiropractor for about a year. He is damn good and a good guy (paid half my deductible) and I highly recommend him as a chiropractor. No doctors, medication or yoga could fix my back. He did it through all natural chiropractic care. He isn't the type that does the really violent spinal manipulations. I'm disappointed about this but I am not the least bit concerned that he distributed anything to the caps.He used to be a competing bodybuilder where I imagine his relationship with steroids began. I would be absolutely shocked, I mean completely flummoxed, if he gave anyone 'roids or hgh. Just doesn't seem in his character.

Posted by: papple | March 24, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

PS: whoever mentioned that we need to be focused on the pens game is damn straight. This story will end up having nothing to do with the caps. They just needed something other than obamacare to talk about because no one is going to read all 2200 pages of that damn bill. GO CAPS! Kick cindy's a$$!

Posted by: papple | March 24, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

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