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Report: 'Serious Questions' Surround Capitals' Steroid Investigation

Back in March, steroid investigators entered the Washington Capitals' training facility to question players about allegations made by a Florida man that he had supplied steroids to the team. These allegations led to a set of investigations into the matter, one by the NHL and one by the Capitals themselves.

The Caps noted publicly at the time that there was a "thorough investigation," and that "the NHL and our own internal investigation have not led to any link of steroid use by Capitals players."

According to a report in the April 26 edition of Sports Illustrated, however, there are doubts about the veracity of those statements by the Capitals. Was the teams' internal investigation as thorough as they led us to believe?

Here's SI's David Epstein:

However, according to an April 7 e-mail from Ian Floyd of the Polk County Sheriff's Tactical Drug Unit to Judd (his boss), there are serious questions about the investigations conducted by the NHL and the Capitals. "I called and spoke with [NHL executive vice president of security] Dennis Cunningham today in reference to the official statements made by the Washington Capitals and NHL regarding the 'thorough investigation,'" reads the e-mail, which Judd allowed SI to review. "Mr. Cunningham admitted that contrary to the below issued statements, no investigation was ever conducted into Dr. Nagel and his ties to steroids and Capitals players by anyone with the NHL."


According to Floyd's e-mail, when he asked the Capitals about their investigation, a team official also told him that none had been undertaken. "During a conversation I had with [Capitals assistant general manager and director of legal affairs] Don Fishman," the e-mail reads, "he advised that no investigation had been conducted by the Capitals into Dr. Nagel's potential involvement with steroids and Capitals players. Mr. Fishman advised that any investigation would have been conducted by Dennis Cunningham from the NHL's security office."

A Capitals spokesman also told the SI reporter when asked about these most recent claims that the team conducted a "brief investigation."

We've gone from a "thorough investigation," to "no investigation," to now a "brief" one.

Japers' Rink, SBN's Capitals blog, may have put it best:

I guess it all depends on what your definition of "thorough" is.

Regardless of how you define certain words, though, the Caps have used three different ones with three completely different meanings. It would be irresponsible to jump to the ultimate conclusion and say that the Caps are are steroids, but you really can't help but feel uneasy about this story. It's hard to know what to believe here, but the discrepancies in each report certainly make you want to question things, don't they?