Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Steroid use in Baseball has been a controversial topic lately. Other pro sports have had to deal with the stigma and it is always a huge subject when speaking of Olympic athletes, but hockey has gone relatively unscathed until recently.
Former player and tough guy, Dave Morissette has written a book: Memoires d’un dur a cuire (Memoires of an Enforcer) stating that the use of steroids and other stimulants had a hand in ending his career. Does his claim damage hockey’s image? It has raised eyebrows with the media on the lookout for a chance to take the game down a notch, but since this comes from a marginal player who was only in the game because of his fighting abilities, which are questionable, and because Morissette only managed eleven NHL games the book doesn’t exactly have a big impact. If it helps to warn younger players about the damaging results from steroid use then that is the main value that can be placed upon the book.
Dennis Bonvie, another enforcer with 92 NHL games under his belt and now in the American Hockey League, claims to have gone up against players on steroids. Bonvie does not think the use is widespread and he claims it really does not give the users an advantage since proper training can achieve the same results without adversely affecting your health.
Nick Kypreos, another former NHLer and now a hockey analyst, agrees that steroid use in hockey is not widespread. He claims that scandals such as the Ben Johnson affair at the 1988 Olympic Games scared Canadians enough to realize the consequences of using steroids.
Are there steroids in the game of hockey? “Yes,” is a safe answer, but in relation to many other sports the use is probably minimal. There will always be players trying to get that upper hand by whatever means available, let’s just hope the numbers are few and the powers that be in the different leagues do what they can to punish those caught. A policy of “no tolerance” sounds great.