Steroids plea for Capitals' chiropractor

A Virginia chiropractor who treated members of the Capitals pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor steroids charges in Polk County.

Douglas Nagel, 50, who had offices in the same Arlington, Va., mall complex as the Capitals' practice facility, was placed on three years of probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, state attorney spokesman Chip Thullbery said.

Nagel pleaded guilty to eight counts of attempted possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. His attorney, Luke Lirot, said the judge withheld formal adjudication of guilt, meaning Nagel will not be formally convicted of a crime if he successfully completes his probation.

Lirot said the plea and reduced charges were possible because the investigation showed that Nagel "had not provided any substances to any sports figures, teams, or any other person" and accepted responsibility for his personal use of the substances.

Capitals players Matt Bradley, Shaone Morrisonn and Eric Fehr said they received chiropractic treatment from Nagel but denied getting steroids from him. Nagel has said that he never distributed steroids and that the drugs he ordered from a Florida supplier were for personal use.

The supplier, Andrew Thomas of Lakeland, had told investigators that Nagel had boasted the steroids were for members of the Capitals and Nationals. Thomas was sentenced this year to eight months in prison.

When Nagel was arrested in March, the NHL and Capitals said the league had done a thorough investigation and nothing linked him to steroid use by any team members. But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at the time that the NHL was not cooperative in his investigation of the case. The Nationals have said they had no association with Nagel.

Bruins: The team and the agent for Marc Savard refuted an ESPN report that the forward could miss the season with postconcussion syndrome. "No one is in a position at this point in time to make a statement of that nature. No one," agent Larry Kelly told Canada's TSN TV network. General manager Peter Chiarelli said on the team's website that any reports of Savard not playing this season "are completely inaccurate," and he later told a meeting of season-ticket holders that Savard will be back soon.

When training camp opened last week, Chiarelli said Savard began having postconcussion symptoms after training all summer and would not participate until he was medically cleared. Savard suffered a concussion March 7 on a blindside hit by the Penguins' Matt Cooke. He missed nearly two months and was cleared to play for the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Flyers. He played all seven games of that series, which the Bruins lost.

Preseason openers: Mike Richards scored a shootout goal in the fourth round, lifting the host Flyers to a 4-3 win over the Devils. Michael Leighton stopped 20 of 23 shots for the Flyers, and Sergei Bobrovsky, competing to be his backup, turned aside all seven shots he faced in the third period and overtime. Johan Hedberg made 11 saves on 13 shots for New Jersey; former Lightning goalie Mike McKenna allowed the tying goal in the third. New Jersey's Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond fought twice, against Matt Walker and Jody Shelly. … The Avalanche beat host St. Louis 3-1 in the Blues debut of goalie Jaroslav Halak, who played the entire game and made 15 saves. Halak was acquired from Montreal in the offseason after he led the Canadiens to playoff upsets of the Capitals and Penguins. … Three Panthers scored against the Hurricanes' Cam Ward on three straight shots in 1:54 of the first period, and visiting Florida won 4-1.

Steroids plea for Capitals' chiropractor 09/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 12:49am]

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