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Congress rips drug testing
By wire services
Published July 28, 2005
WASHINGTON - The drug policy in the NHL's new labor deal was criticized for "loopholes" and "inadequate testing" by the heads of the congressional committee that grilled baseball's Mark McGwire and has proposed legislating steroid testing in pro sports.
Tom Davis, a Republican and chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, and ranking Democrat Henry Waxman wrote a letter to commissioner Gary Bettman and union leader Bob Goodenow.
Players face a two-year ban for a first positive test and lifetime ban for a second. Before the deal, the NHL didn't have a policy.
"In that sense, the new policy represents a positive step," the letter read. "However ... it appears to contain numerous loopholes that might allow players to circumvent the testing regime."
The lawmakers faulted the program for calling for "up to two" tests rather than mandating a minimum, having no independent administrator and limiting testing to training camp and the regular season.
"We disagree with several assertions made in the letter, and we will respond in due course," league spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur said.
Other complaints are tests won't occur on game days and must be done on a scheduled practice day, no "clear and comprehensive" list of banned substances and no testing for designer steroids.
Senators retain Hasek
OTTAWA - The Senators exercised their one-year option on goalie Dominik Hasek, the six-time Vezina and two-time Hart trophy winner.
In 2003, Hasek, 40, first all-time with a .924 save percentage, ended a one-year retirement to join the Red Wings but was limited to 14 games due to a groin injury. Ottawa signed him in July 2004, and he is due to make $2.28-million this season.
PREDATORS: Left wing Darcy Hordichuk was acquired from Florida for a 2005 fourth-round pick. He had three goals, one assist and 158 penalty minutes in 57 games in 2003-04.
STARS: Pierre Turgeon, 13th in points among active players with 1,233 (480 goals, 753 assists) was put on waivers and will be bought out if not claimed. The center, 35, had 15 goals and 25 assists in 76 games in 2003-04. Dallas will clear $4.5-million under the salary cap.