CIS continues war on steroids

Ever since the steroid scandal that robbed the University of Waterloo Warriors of their 2010 football season came to light in March, there has been immense pressure on Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) to take further action to prevent doping amongst its athletes. And today they did just that, announcing -in a press conference along with the CFL and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES)- new measures that are intended to combat steroid use in the CIS.

“We have significant work to do to address the problem in a systematic and comprehensive manner,” said CIS chief executive officer Marg MacGregor. “We look forward to working with our partners to address the issue.”

Headlining these new measures is a task force of CCES officials that will investigate steroid use in CIS sport, starting with football. The task force will attempt to identify the roots of doping amongst CIS football players and make recommendations on how to quell the issue. The findings of this investigation will be presented at an anti-doping symposium hosted by the CIS over the Vanier Cup weekend.

The CCES and CIS will be announcing further details regarding the task force in the coming weeks.

The CCES will also be allocating a greater number of their tests to CIS football, focusing on the off-season period.

“Cheating, such as doping, has no place in sport,” said CCES chief operating officer Doug MacQuarrie. “The CCES remains steadfast in its expectation that football, and all sport, be doping-free… [and] we will learn to change and adapt as those who try and cheat the system change and adapt.”

Also getting involved in the fight against steroid use in university football is the Canadian Football League. The CFL has agreed to provide increased funding to enable the testing of prospects and also participate in an anti-doping public education program aimed at minor football players, as well as athletes at the high school and CIS level.

“We’re providing funding and support based on agreement we’ve reached with the CIS and the CCES,” said CFL director of football operations Kevin MacDonald. “We saw this as a natural step after what happened in the spring [at UW] to weigh in with support where we could.”

In addition to the new anti-doping measures, the CCES also announced updated results from the unannounced tests they have been conducting at players’ summer residences. Taylor Shadgett from Acadia University and Christopher Deneau of the University of Windsor are the latest CIS athletes to test positive for banned substances. Both have received two year suspensions.

As for the players at Laurier, so far five Hawks have been tested over the summer and to this point none have tested positive for any banned substances.