Monday, January 30, 2006

Al Strachan took the time to open his mouth this weekend on the subject of NHL players and drug use. Now, far be it from me to say Al doesn't know as much about this problem as say, World Anti-Doping Association president Dick Pound ... but okay, I'm guessing Al Strachan doesn't know as much about this problem as Dick Pound.

I'm basing that on a couple of things. One, Pound has spent pretty much his whole career fighting doping, while Strachan is pretty much just a dope. Two, Al says Pound's claims are "outlandish" and "unsupportable". Okay, I'll bite -- where's your proof of that, Al? Where are your studies that fly in the face of Pound's own evidence and published reports of the practice, including a Sports Illustrated story from eight years ago.

What seals it for me is this question from Strachan:

What should a sick hockey player do about a serious cough or cold that is affecting his game?

Strachan goes on to say that New York Rangers star Jaromir Jagr has been battling a cold for two weeks because he's too scared to take something that will make him test positive for the upcoming Olympics. The Rangers' doctors can't help him, Strachan says, because Jagr says, "What can they do? They cannot give you any strong medicine because they drug-test you."

Here's a crazy thought -- how about phoning up the WADA folks and asking them what's out there that won't get Jagr banned? Couldn't Dick Pound himself clear this up pretty quickly? Couldn't just about any decent doctor? Is the Rangers' medical staff that disinterested in getting Jagr back to full health that they can't do a little research?

Actually, I'm surprised they didn't just ask Strachan himself. I mean, he'd have to know, right? He knows more about doping than Pound.

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