Bombers’ Har­ris sus­pended two games af­ter drug test

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports -

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.

CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Run­ning back An­drew Har­ris says: “I was not us­ing a banned sub­stance ... This is clearly a case of prod­uct con­tam­i­na­tion.”

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