According to Jeremy Scriven at Hockey Independent, as well as multiple sources which include a Capitals Press Release from yesterday, federal and county investigators recently visited the Washington Capitals to follow up on steroid allegations stemming from the arrest of a Florida man nearly a year ago.
The man, one Richard Thomas, was linked to Douglas Nagel, a Virginian chiropractor who claims to be involved with the team. While Capitals' management has denied any official association to Nagel, his practice is located in the same building as the Caps management offices, so some link is possible.
While no Capitals player has been targeted by police as a user or buyer of steroids, police are following up on all leads, and this is definitely a story to watch.
Especially if you're Dick Pound.
More from Jeremy Scriven, from the link posted above:
A team of Polk County Sheriff department officials, in tandem with U.S. Marshals paid a visit to Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. The visit stemmed from the arrest of Douglas Nagel, an Arlington, Virgina Chiropractor who allegedly purchased anabolic steroids from a Florida man arrested in May 2009. Richard Thomas, of Lakeland, FL is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of possessing and distributing illegal anabolic steroids.
So how are the Washington Capitals involved? Upon Richard Thomas’ arrest, he claimed to have sold anabolic steroids to professional athletes. More specifically, professional athletes from the Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals. Both current and former players.
The real twist to this story is the the Virginia doctor, Douglas Nagel, claims to be the Capitals’ team chiropractor. This claim has been denied by the Capitals management and public relations team, however they do concede that players in the past have been patients of Dr. Nagel for “standard, routine chiropractic services”. Dr. Nagel’s private practice is located in the same building as the Capitals’ management’s offices and training facility. So an association with the team and Dr. Nagel is not far-fetched. Dr. Nagel has denied he prescribed or provided any current or former Capitals with steroids.
Polk Country investigators did interview Capitals team trainer, Greg Smith. Investigators, on condition of anonymity, stated the three players were also interviewed. Those players were Shaone Morrisonn, Matt Bradley, and Eric Fehr. The details of those interviews were not released, however Eric Fehr did hit the D.C. area radio waves. While on a phone call with the LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes radio show, Fehr denied ever seeing any steroid use in an NHL lockerroom. It should also be known that all NHL players are subject to random drug testing throughout the NHL season. Thus far there have been no reported positive test results.
Here is the official Capitals press release regarding the investigation:
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.