AHL Implements Drug Testing Policies


The American hockey league is heading down the same road as the NHL with their new drug testing policies. Both the National Hockey League and affiliate American Hockey League have announced the implementation of an education and drug-testing program for all AHL players.

The announcement comes from the NHLPA and the PHLPA (who represent the AHL players) and will help players avoid Performance Enhancing Substances and recreational drugs.  Along with drug testing, which will be administered by team physicians, the AHL is instituting a Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program.

Since 2005 the NHL has enforced a strict policy on taking performance enhancing substances and as a result has had very few violations, compared to the other major sports leagues.

Normally it’s the AHL trying out wacky new policies hoping the NHL will want to pick them up down the road. However this time the NHL kicked it off.

Starting at the lower levels will ensure that the NHL will have limited instances with PED’s going forward. The league has not had many major cases, with the biggest as of late coming at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Nicklas Backstrom who took pseudoephedrine which was found in his allergy medication of all things.

Before this new testing there wasn’t much in terms of drug rules in the AHL which is a cause for concern for both the AHL and the NHL. In the AHL there are players willing to do anything to take their game to the next level and crack the NHL, however, must players have been just fine unsupervised. Obviously the two leagues feel the need for new policies though.