We need to cut Mckay some slack

With the recent upbringing of drug rules within the United States Anti-Doping Agency due to Minnesota State’s senior goaltender Dryden McKay testing positive for Ostarine, it is arguable that the USADA’s rules might be a bit too tight. 

The senior goaltender, although unannounced, was selected to join team USA as a member of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics as a reserve netminder. Due to the rule, athletes must get urine tested to see if the athlete is using any performance-enhancing drugs. 

McKay’s test came back positive for Ostarine, which generally requires a four-year punishment that would have inevitably ended his hockey career.

Unfortunately, the USADA requires punishment for any testing of a foreign substance whether on purpose or not. In McKay’s case, it is almost unrealistic to give someone a ban from their respective sport for something they have nearly no control over. 

The senior goaltender’s test came back positive for one trillionth of a gram of Ostarine, which slipped into a supplement he was taking as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. McKay was using the supplement as an immune-booster and recovery method for COVID-19 during its peak in the 2021-22 hockey season. 

McKay was required to hire a lawyer with doping regulation experience to help appeal his case, which went from what could have been four years and no chance at a professional career, down to his current suspension of six months. 

The USADA is unbelievably harsh when cracking down on dope and other performance-enhancing substances on athletes who will be competing for Team USA, which is completely warranted. But in McKay’s case, what could he have done differently?

In accordance with the rules, everyone has to be more careful about what they are putting into their bodies. This means more than reading what is on a label. 

Athletes must be testing unopened and opened versions of the supplements to make sure the contents they are consuming have no altercations. But how can you be safe 100% of the time?

It probably is not possible. 

At this point, McKay has made it clear it is what it is but will be postponing his career as a professional athlete until the six-month period is up. 

There has been a lot of buzz around why the senior goaltender has not been signed by an NHL team yet, especially after winning the Hobey Baker. Now we all know why.

Although it was completely uncontrollable for McKay, outside of not taking a supplement he believed would help keep him healthy during a pandemic, he decided to accept the six-month penalty and will await its expiration before either signing with an NHL team as a free agent or possibly returning to the Mavericks for his final season of eligibility.

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