UW suspends football program

The University of Waterloo Warriors will not be playing football in the fall of 2010.

It was announced this morning that school will be suspending its football team’s activities as a result of nine UW players testing positive for steroid use in a test conducted by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

Only two of the nine players who tested positive had their names announced – linebackers Joe Surgenor and Jordan Meredith – as they have waived their right to a trial. Both have received two-year suspensions from CIS football.

The other seven players have the option of having a second sample subjected to a test and then requesting a hearing.

The Warriors have been the centre of controversy since April when UW receiver Nathan Zettler was arrested for the possession and trafficking of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. That incident was what prompted the CIS and CCES to test the players not only at UW but also Guelph and McMaster.

It was announced today that there were no adverse test results at either Guelph of McMaster.

Laurier was originally supposed to be amongst the teams tested, however, due to a scheduling error the tests never took place.

With the Warriors not taking part in the 2010 season, the team’s coaching staff has been put on paid leave while retired chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Larry Gravill leads an internal review of UW’s football program. The Warriors’ players, meanwhile, are still waiting to find out whether or not they will be able to transfer to a different school in time for the season.

Another effect of the Warriors’ withdrawal from the coming season will be a complete overhaul of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) schedule.

Due to the league having 10 teams, every year each school does not play one of their 10 potential opponents. For instance, this year Laurier was not originally scheduled to play their rivals, the Western Mustangs, and now, in all likelihood, the two teams will meet. OUA officials held a conference call this afternoon to attempt to work out a revised schedule.