SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED EXAMINES USE OF SUDAFED AMONG NHL PLAYERS

          The use of Sudafed by NHL players is examined by
     Michael Farber of SI under the header "Hockey's Little
     Helpers."  Farber: "It's the NHL's dirty little secret, and
     with the Olympics imminent, it is of great concern to the
     league because although Sudafed is legal, it is on the
     Olympic list of banned substances."  Farber writes that the
     "exact number of players who use Sudafed, a nonprescription
     drug that contains the stimulant pseudoephedrine, in an
     effort to boost their performance on the ice, is unclear." 
     Two NHL trainers "estimate that before a game 20% of the
     league's players routinely take" such over-the-counter
     medications "to feel a little buzz."  The NHL, however,
     "disputes that figure, saying the percentage of players
     using drugs such as Sudafed is much lower and that they use
     them for medicinal purposes only" (SI, 2/2 issue).          
          REBUTTAL: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, on SI's
     article: "The evidence that we have indicates that [SI's]
     anecdotes aren't born out by the facts, and that if there
     was a problem -- and we're not so sure that there ever was -
     - that it was a while ago."  More Bettman: "[I]f we thought
     we had a problem, our substance abuse program would be
     directed at it, even though we're talking about a perfectly
     legal substance" ("CNN/SI," 1/29).  NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
     Goodenow declined to discuss specific results of pre-Olympic
     drug tests but said those results contained "no shocking
     revelations of drug abuse, nor any indication the use of
     Sudafed was as high" as depicted in SI (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/29).

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