February 10, 2006

Canadiens’ Theodore tests positive for banned substance

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose
Theodore has tested positive for a substance on the World
Anti-Doping Authority's banned list, the National Hockey League
said on Thursday.

Theodore tested positive for the hair restoration drug
Propecia, which is not an anabolic steroid but a masking agent.

Theodore's test was administered on December 12 and the
results were revealed on January 14. He was tested because he
was on Hockey Canada's 81-man Olympic eligibility list, though
he did not make the final Olympic squad.

Theodore, who plans to appeal, could face a two-year ban
from international competition.

Any suspension, however, would not effect his NHL status
because testing conducted before the implementation of the
league's drug-testing program is not recognized as a violation.

Montreal's head doctor David Mulder said Theodore had been
using the drug for eight to nine years.

"Jose was unaware, until recently, that Propecia was a
banned substance," Mulder told a news conference.

(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Toronto)