Bombers’ Harris suspended two games after drug test
TORONTO — Running back Andrew Harris of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has been suspended for two games following a positive drug test, the Canadian Football League announced Monday.
According to the league, Harris tested positive for Metandienone, which is a banned substance.
In a statement, Harris said he was tested March 1, July 2 and again July 12. It was after the third test that Harris added he was notified of the positive result.
Harris, a three-time CFL allstar and the league’s top Canadian in 2017, said he never knowingly took a banned substance.
“Throughout my four years playing here in Winnipeg, I have been drug tested more than any other player on our team, to the point that it has become a running joke within our lockerroom,” Harris said. “I’m still in shock and disbelief at the news.
“The timeline makes it very clear — I was not using a banned substance for performance enhancing purposes, nor was I aware that I was taking any supplements with any banned substances in them. Based on the fact pattern, this is clearly a case of product contamination.”
CFL players testing positive for the first time face a two-game suspension.
Both Harris’s A and B samples came back positive, meaning he has already appealed and therefore must accept the suspension.
Harris, a 32-year-old Winnipeg native, is currently the CFL’s rushing leader with 908 yards on 141 carries (6.4-yard average) with three TDs. His suspension comes at a bad time for the Bombers, as starting quarterback Matt Nichols went on the six-game injured list last week with an upper-body ailment.
Harris, who came to the CFL in 2009, said he’s never been one to look for shortcuts.
“My road to becoming a starter in the CFL was extremely difficult, and I take a lot of pride in the honest blue collar work I’ve put in to reach this point in my career,” he said. “As unsettling and painful as this is to me and my family, I hope this can be a helpful reminder to all athletes about being extremely cautious and aware of what they are taking and putting into their bodies.”
Harris also apologized to the Bombers for the positive test.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said he stands firmly behind his player.
Running back Andrew Harris says: “I was not using a banned substance ... This is clearly a case of product contamination.”