A look at five prom­i­nent Cana­dian dop­ing in­ci­dents

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports -

Ca­noeist Lau­rence Vin­cent La­pointe is the lat­est Cana­dian Olympic medal hope­ful to get caught up in a dop­ing con­tro­versy. She has tested pos­i­tive for the banned sub­stance Li­gan­drol — which can help build and repair mus­cles — a year out from the Tokyo Games.

Here’s a look at five pre­vi­ous dop­ing in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Cana­dian Olympic ath­letes:

Ben John­son — Sprinter

Sub­stance: stanozolol

In a case that made head­lines world­wide, John­son tested pos­i­tive for the an­abolic steroid stanozolol af­ter win­ning the 100 me­tres at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a then-record time of 9.79 sec­onds. He lost his Olympic ti­tle and his record was voided.

Af­ter ini­tially deny­ing any wrong­do­ing, John­son ad­mit­ted to dop­ing in the 1989 Du­bin In­quiry, a Cana­dian govern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into drug abuse. He was also re­lieved of his 100-me­tre ti­tle from the 1987 world cham­pi­onships in Rome af­ter ad­mit­ting to tak­ing steroids while pre­par­ing for that race.

Ross Rebagliati — Snowboarde­r

Sub­stance: THC

Rebagliati’s gi­ant slalom gold medal from the 1998 Nagano Games was re­scinded af­ter traces of THC, the main psy­choac­tive ele­ment of cannabis, were found in his blood­stream fol­low­ing a drug test. THC was not on the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency’s list of banned sub­stances at the time, and Rebagliati ar­gued the sub­stance was the result of sec­ond­hand smoke. The de­ci­sion to strip Rebagliati of his medal was even­tu­ally over­turned.

Silken Laumann — Rower

Sub­stance: Pseu­doephedrin­e

One of Canada’s most re­spected ama­teur ath­letes, Laumann suf­fered a brief hit to her rep­u­ta­tion when pseu­doephedrin­e, an in­gre­di­ent in many over-the­counter cold med­i­ca­tions, was found in her sys­tem af­ter she helped Canada win a gold medal in quadru­ple skulls at the 1995 Pan Amer­i­can Games. The Cana­dian squad was stripped of its medal, but Laumann made a case that the test result was due to a botched pre­scrip­tion by team doc­tors, and she was not sus­pended by row­ing’s in­ter­na­tional gov­ern­ing body.

Pseu­doephedrin­e has had an in­con­stant sta­tus among banned sub­stances. It was re­moved from the list in 2004 be­fore WADA rein­tro­duced it in 2010.

Eric Lamaze — Equestrian

Sub­stance: Co­caine

Lamaze lost his spot on Canada’s equestrian team for the 1996 Olympics af­ter re­ceiv­ing a fouryear ban for a pos­i­tive co­caine test. His ban was over­turned a year later when an ar­bi­tra­tor ruled that his per­sonal story of grow­ing up around drugs was a mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor. Lamaze has since be­come one of Canada’s most dec­o­rated jumpers.

Ryder Hesjedal — Cy­clist

Sub­stance: EPO

The only Cana­dian to win a Grand Tour event when he cap­tured the Giro d’Italia in 2012, Hesjedal was caught up in cy­cling’s fa­mous dop­ing scan­dal that made head­lines when Lance Arm­strong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France ti­tles. The U.S. Anti-Dop­ing Agency al­leged Arm­strong was the ring­leader of an ex­ten­sive dop­ing pro­gram in­volv­ing ery­thro­poi­etin, used to stim­u­late the creation of oxy­gen-rich red blood cells.

With­out con­firm­ing any al­le­ga­tions, the Olympian said in a state­ment: “I sin­cerely apol­o­gize for my part in the dark past of the sport. I will al­ways be sorry.”

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