The Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals were specifically named by a man Tuesday night after he was arrested for being an alleged steroids dealer, although police said they could not yet substantiate his claims.
Richard Thomas and his wife, Sandra, were arrested Tuesday night by the Polk County Sheriff's Office and that officials seized steroids valued at about $200,000, according to WFLA.com. Investigators said Thomas told them he was the biggest steroid provider in Central Florida and that he sold mainly to pro athletes, including the Caps and Nats.
"We asked him, because we knew that would create a firestorm, on two more occasions because we don't want to be quoted as saying that," Judd said. "Richard Thomas told us that he sold steroids to ball players on those teams. Now is that one ball player? Two ball players? We don't know."
While Thomas named the two Washington franchises, he would not name anyone by name.
"I can tell you this," Sheriff Grady Judd told WFLA.com, "there will be a whole lot of people puckered up after the morning news."
On Wednesday afternoon, the Capitals and the NHL released statements.
"We have no reason to believe there is any merit to this story, but the National Hockey League and the Washington Capitals take all such allegations seriously," said team president Dick Patrick. "Capitals players have fully participated in the NHL’s random drug testing program, and at no point has a Capitals player tested positive. In addition our players have been tested at international events, such as World Championships and Olympics. We welcome and will fully cooperate with the NHL’s investigation."
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The Washington Post talked with Brooks Laich, who said he hasn't seen anything resembling steroids in the Caps' locker room.
"As far we know it's just speculation," Laich told the Post. "The guy didn't say if it was 10 years ago that he sold to the Capitals. Whether it was five ago that he sold. We have no idea. I've already been in touch with our players, and there's nothing on our side to report."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Caps players were subjected to no-notice testing three times in each of the past two seasons according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He said there was no indication of any improper conduct or wrongdoing.
"Even though there are no specifics provided in the story and we have no reason, at this point, to believe the allegations are true, the National Hockey League takes all matters of this nature very seriously and will conduct a prompt investigation," Daly said in a statement.
The Nationals declined to comment to News4 about the allegations Wednesday morning, but team president Stan Kasten held a conference call with beat writers in the afternoon.
"I have to tell you, I just don't know anything more about this story than what you've read. Truly," Kasten said. "I don't have any more information than that. I've spoken to MLB; they didn't have any more details on the story we all read this morning. ... I don't have any particular concerns, because as you've seen in recent times, baseball has the most stringent testing for performance-enhancing drugs. Players run afoul of rules, they're caught, and they're disciplined."
According to WFLA.com, the Thomases each face 10 counts of possession of anabolic steroids with intent to sell and deliver, one count of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, 10 counts importation of anabolic steroids into the state of Florida and one count of maintaining a residence for selling drugs.