Wed May 27 01:12am EDT
When Polk County police arrested Richard Thomas and his wife Sandra, detectives snagged "an estimated $200,000 in illegal steroids," according to WFLA in Tampa.
It's a massive seizure, but that's not only why police held a press conference on Tuesday night to announce the bust -- turns out Richard Thomas is claiming to have some celebrity clients, including ones in the NHL:
What investigators aren't sure of is whether Richard Thomas, 35, is telling the truth when he says he is the biggest steroid provider in Central Florida and that he sold mostly to professional athletes, including those on the Washington Capitals hockey team and Washington Nationals baseball team.
On this television segment from last night's WFLA news, Sherrif Grady Judd makes it clear that police asked Richard Thomas on multiple occasions whom he sold to, and Thomas indicated it was the Nationals and the Capitals, although no names were named.
Police are wary about the claims pending further investigation, because there's no telling how many clients Thomas had, or if he had the high-profile clients he claims he did. Police are also saying they have no further evidence at this time beyond Thomas's statements.
According to the network, Richard and Sandra Thomas of Lakeland face 10 counts of possession of anabolic steroids with intention to sell and deliver; one count of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony; 10 counts importation of anabolic steroids into state of Florida; one count of maintaining a residence for selling drugs.
There's more coverage from The Ledger. This is bombshell, no doubt. But it's also a scandal in its infancy, with a source of questionable credibility. The NHL has long maintained that performance-enhancing drug use is not part of the sport's culture. The League is likely praying that theory isn't being put to the test by virtue of this Florida drug bust.
Hey, at least it's something to discuss during that massive break between the conference finals and the Cup finals, right?