NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes pro hockey is steroid-free. ((Stephen Chernin/Associated Press))

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman plans to tell a U.S. House subcommittee on Wednesday that his sport is steroid-free.

Bettman will join his major-league counterparts in testifying before the House subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection in Washington.

"We shouldn't all be painted with the same broad brush," Bettman said. "Every sport is different.

"What goes on in one sport does not go on in every sport. This hasn't been an issue for us for a variety of reasons as it has been for others."

Bettman said the NHL has had just one player suspended for steroid usage in the 2½ years since play resumed after the 2004-05 work stoppage.

While Bettman said the league continually re-evaluates its penalties for steroid use, he is happy with the current sanctions.

For a first violation, a player is suspended for 20 games, 60 games for a second violation and a permanent ban for a third violation.

"The penalties are very severe," Bettman said. "A quarter of a season, three-quarters of a season, and that is it."