Out of season testing reveals more doping violations

Following more positive steroid tests from Canadian Interuniversity Sport football players, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport held a press conference alongside CIS and the Canadian Football League this past Tuesday to announce new anti-doping measures that will be put in place for university football athletes effective immediately.

In addition to the unprecedented testing of the entire University of Waterloo football team in March, the CCES also conducted 54 unannounced, out-of-season tests on CIS football players across the country in June.

This testing confirmed two more violations and CCES continues to manage one other potential violation.

Acadia Axemen linebacker Taylor Shadgett admitted to use of Stanozolol, a World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited substance. After exercising his right to a hearing, Shadgett received a sanction of two years of ineligibility.

Joining Shadgett for the same two-year period of ineligibility will be University of Windsor Lancers linebacker Christopher Deneau. Deneau was found to have used Methyl-1-testosterone, another WADA prohibited substance, and waived his right to a hearing.

Both of the schools’ athletic directors expressed their support of CCES and the rulings.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy and are fully supportive of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. All of our students are required to take online anti-doping education from the CCES and we augment that with presentations from an on-site CCES representative . . . It’s a widespread message that we ensure is communicated to all our athletes without exception,” said University of Windsor director of athletics Gord Grace, who noted this is the first time an athlete at Windsor has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

“Naturally we’re very disappointed in the results of the home visit tests, as they signal that doping in CIS football is not an isolated occurrence,” said CIS chief executive officer Marg McGregor. “We have significant work to do to address the problem in a systematic and comprehensive manner and to protect the integrity and positive values of university football. We look forward to working with our partners to address the issue.”

As a result of the violations, CCES announced the immediate launch of an independent task force which will look at the trends and attitudes surrounding steroid use in football. Subsequently the task force may also be called upon to make policy recommendations to all levels of government and stakeholders. The CCES has yet to divulge the task force’s membership, but that information is expected to be released in a matter of weeks. In addition to the task force, CCES also plans to increase the amount of testing in CIS football and target already allocated testing to more ‘at risk’ periods.

In cooperation with the effort to stem the use of performance enhancing drugs, the CFL has agreed to identify top CIS prospects, provide more extensive funding to test these prospects and participate in public education programs.

“We all share a responsibility to ensure that positive experience is not undermined by performance enhancing drugs. As role models for football players at every level, those of us privileged enough to be part of the CFL are working to fulfill that responsibility,” said CFL director of football operations Kevin McDonald.

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