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Florida couple claims steroids sold to pro athletes, sheriff says

  • Story Highlights
  • Couple arrested in central Florida on anabolic steroid possession charges
  • Claim they sold steroids to professional athletes in District of Columbia, sheriff says
  • Richard Thomas says he sold steroids to pro baseball, hockey players, sheriff says
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(CNN) -- A Florida man arrested with his wife on anabolic steroid possession charges claimed to have sold steroids to professional hockey and baseball players in the District of Columbia, but the National Hockey League and Washington Capitals said Wednesday they doubted the allegation.

Richard Thomas and his wife, Sandra, were arrested Tuesday night at their home in Lakeland, Florida.

Richard Thomas and his wife, Sandra, were arrested Tuesday night at their home in Lakeland, Florida.

Richard Thomas, 35, told officers he sold the steroids to unidentified players on the NHL's Capitals and the Washington Nationals of baseball's National League, said Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida.

"Richard Thomas told us that he sold steroids to ballplayers on those teams," Judd said after the arrests late Tuesday night. "Now, is that one ballplayer to two ballplayers? We don't know."

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league would investigate the claim, but added that the Washington Capitals "have no knowledge of any aspect of this allegation."

"Capitals players were subjected to no-notice testing five separate times over the past two seasons pursuant to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and there was no indication of any improper conduct or wrongdoing," Daly said in a statement issued Wednesday.

A separate statement by Capitals president Dick Patrick said the team had "no reason to believe there is any merit to this story," but would fully cooperate with the NHL's investigation., the Web site of Major League Baseball, reported Wednesday that the league would look into the allegation involving the Washington Nationals. The report posted on the Web site of the Washington Nationals quoted Nationals president Stan Kasten as saying the team knew nothing about the steroids claim, and that the league was handling it.

Thomas and his wife, Sandra, 49, were arrested Tuesday night at their home in Lakeland, Florida, on 21 counts of possession of anabolic steroids, importation of anabolic steroids and maintaining a residence for drug sales, Judd said. He said the couple has been charged with 10 counts of steroid possession with intent to distribute, 10 counts of importing the drugs and one count of maintaining a residence for drug sales.

According to Judd, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Philadelphia received information that the Florida couple would be receiving a shipment of steroids. Judd's office then obtained a search warrant for the Lakeland home, where officers found steroids from points outside the United States, including Iran, he said.

The arrest report says Richard Thomas told officers he was "the biggest steroids dealer in central Florida."

Bond for Richard and Sandra Thomas was set at $215,000 each, said Carrie Eleazer, spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and Sandra Thomas was released on bail Wednesday afternoon.

The two are scheduled to make an initial court appearance Thursday.

CNN's John Couwels contributed to this report.

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