Do not play ostrich, the use of doping products is a reality with which many athletes are confronted. Sometimes it can even make a difference between fulfilling or ending a dream. But, few really know the consequences.
A 17-year-old hockey player who is on the verge of being drafted by a National Hockey League team, an athlete whose participation in the Olympics is about to come true, a professional boxer who is only one step away from a great performance to get a lucrative fight or just to appear great in everyday life, there are many reasons for using anabolic products or recreational drugs.
Former NHL hockey player Patrick Bordeleau explains that we should not believe that all the players on the circuit have impeccable behavior. In fact, an internal NHL survey showed that in 2013, 78% of league players used drugs recreationally.
“There is no awareness being done, says Patrick Bordeleau. A youngster arrives in the NHL and his life changes completely. He makes his dream come true, he has the money and, if he has a bit of a pretty face, it can easily become problematic. Young people must be better equipped to face this reality.”
The former Colorado Avalanche player explains that if a player tests positive for steroid use, they are automatically suspended for 25 games. But again, the tests are not done on a regular basis. In the case of a positive result for recreational drug use, he will only receive a call from a doctor to find out if he has a substance use problem. If the player says it is an isolated event, the discussion will end.
“Players can be tested twice a season, one of which is at training camp. So, suppose a guy gets tested again in November, he knows he won’t be tested again during the season. The same goes for steroids as it is for recreational drugs. Seriously, the use of cannabis, cocaine and narcotics are common things. Without naming any name or saying what league I played in, I was once part of a team where 17 out of 23 players used cocaine on a regular basis. A player can have 3 positive drug tests before being required to go to therapy.”
Patrick Bordeleau would like to see things change. This is why he is working on a project in order to meet with all the players of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I’m working really hard on this project. If accepted, I will tour all the teams in the league every year to speak with the youngsters. This is one of the great ways to make a difference. Awareness can make a big difference and young players need to know the reality. Some of them will be in the NHL in a few years. It is important that they know this reality and that they make the right choices.”