Drug testing agents have swooped on English Premier League ice hockey clubs following a 12-year jail term imposed on a former coach, player and cage-fighter Adam Greener, The Star can exclusively reveal.
Sheffield Steeldogs players were tested on two occasions, along with other teams across the UK’s second flight division, writes Bob Westerdale.
Today Dogs’ owner Shane Smith welcomed the League-wide probe and said he expects his players to come through without any positive drug results.
Greener, 32, was jailed at Southampton Crown Court earlier this year for conspiring to supply cocaine and amphetamines. The Star understands that Greener’s phone was checked by police for details of who he’d been in contact with.
In mid March, teams across the EPL were visited by agents from the UK Anti Doping agency. Steeldogs had players tested at a match down south. Then when Slough visited iceSheffield on March 22, more were tested. Players have been tested at home, too.
Smith said: “We and Manchester were tested but to me that seemed to be a more random exercise as we had no links with anybody in the south.
“Whatever the situation, I’d welcome any move to eradicate drugs in our sport.
“We had one player, Callum Pattison woken before 6am at home in Newcastle because the urine sample he’d given was not ‘concentrated’ enough so they took it again. As always, there are rumours flying around but I am confident that he and all our lads are clean and the tests will prove negative. I have never seen anything untoward at our club and would support any moves to keep our sport clean.”
Smith said the EPL was a development league and needed a good image to attract youngsters. He described star forward Lubomir Korhon, who was also tested, as: “A true, natural athlete that kids rightly looked up to as a role model.”
The Ice Hockey UK umbrella organisation, said: “Testing is random and undertaken by UKAD and IHUK has no say on when or who they will test. IHUK supports drug testing.”
*The court case: courtesy of the Slough Observer, January 30.
Family members gasped as a former Bracknell ice hockey captain was jailed for 12 years for conspiring to supply cocaine.
A court heard that Adam Greener, 32, had been arrested when police raided the home of accomplice Aurelio Bellamy, 46, in Carnoustie, Bracknell.
Officers found 2.3kg of cocaine, 238g of benzocaine, and 1.81kg of class B drug amphetamine, with a total street value of £600,000.
Greener started selling drugs in February 2012 after his Puck-A-Pizza restaurant in Crowthorne High Street ran up debts of £7,500, Southampton Crown Court heard.
The married dad-of-two took out a loan “with the wrong people” and was struggling to pay it back.
Greener, from Yateley – who formerly played for Bracknell Bees and was later a player and coach for Slough Jets – recruited others to help.
Bellamy was jailed for eight years and roofer Lee Hudson, 34, of no fixed address, for nine years for their roles. Scott Moody, 34, a former Bracknell Bees player, was jailed for 30 months after he was caught with £50,000 cash from the enterprise.
Moody, from Old Windsor, denied conspiracy to supply cocaine and was acquitted by a jury at trial, but admitted one charge of possessing criminal property.
Greener, Bellamy, and Hudson had all admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply cocaine at an earlier hearing.
Police raided Bellamy’s house last March, where they found drugs, digital scales, knives for cutting the powder, and bags to put it in.
Prosecutor Adrian Fleming said Bellamy and Greener were in the property, described as a “mini laboratory”.
Hudson acted as Greener’s driver, while Moody was caught with £50,000 cash when pulled over by police in Staffordshire in November 2012. Greener had paid him £1,000 to carry out an “exchange” in Glasgow. Mr Fleming said: “The Crown say the hub of this conspiracy is Mr Greener. He was in debt and driven to sell cocaine. He is in contact with the other three and yet they are not in contact with each other.”
He said the wholesale value of the drugs was about £150,000, but it could have been worth “four or five times” at street value.
Amiot Vollenweider, defending Greener, said: “He was not in a happy situation. He took a loan off the wrong people and hoped this would assist him in his failing business.
“He was unable to pay back some of the money so he took to selling cocaine by himself.
“It is no surprise the other individuals had significant contact with Mr Greener, who was trying to pay his business’s debts.
“He asked others to do the jobs he was tasked with doing. He feels a significant amount of shame and has tarnished the good name of his family.”
Bellamy turned to drink and drugs when he “failed to cope” with his son’s suicide in 2011, the court heard.
Moody, a married dad-of-one, suffered a career-ending injury in the summer of 2012 and lost his job later that year.
He claimed he was not aware the £50,000 he had in his car was the proceeds of a drugs deal.
Jailing Greener for 12 years, Judge Derwin Hope said: “You, Mr Greener, were not only playing a leading role but you were at the very heart of it.
“This was a very serious criminal conspiracy to supply high volumes of cocaine and to operate at high levels of purity.
“You were directly involved in cutting cocaine with other agents for vast profits to be made.”
Greener served a two-year ban from ice hockey between 2006-2008 after failing a routine drugs test, during which time he tried his hand at cagefighting.