The NHL will reportedly start drug testing players for cocaine by the conclusion of the season, according to Renaud Levoie of TVA Sports.
Although nothing is finalized yet, Levoie reports if a player were to test positive for cocaine he would not face suspension, but receive assistance through the NHL and NHL Player’s Association substance abuse program. A player would reportedly face suspension if he had to go to Stage 2 of the program. Players enter stage 2 when they violate the first phase.
The NHL’s drug testing policy according to the league’s website, tests players for use of performance-enhancing substances with every NHL player will be subject to up to two “no-notice” tests every year.
Last season, the league added a test for recreational drugs. Of the the 2,400 player urine samples collected, 800 were tested for recreational drugs.
“The number of [cocaine] positives are more than they were in previous years and they're going up,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN in October. “I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis in any sense. What I’d say is drugs like cocaine are cyclical and you’ve hit a cycle where it's an ‘in’ drug again.”
Rangers forward Jarrett Stoll was charged with felony possession of cocaine for his arrest in April at a Las Vegas Strip pool. Stoll’s current teammate Ryan Malone was arrested on charges of DUI and cocaine possession in April when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In September, Maple Leafs prospect Viktor Loov told a Swedish news outlet that “there’s a lot of cocaine” in the NHL.