It's not every day that a student-athlete is banned from university property, but that's what happened Wednesday at the University of Waterloo.
The unnamed football player is "being investigated by police for the possession of a substantial quantity of steroids and human growth hormone with the intention of trafficking" (as per The Record's Christine Rivet). As part of this investigation, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport brought every Waterloo player in for testing this morning, and the student has been kept off campus, apparently by order of the university themselves. (If some of the tests come back positive, we'll know more because CCES will make those results public.)
The investigation is ongoing and the police say no charges have been laid at this point.
There do appear to be two stories here: the drug testing and the police investigation. We're not here to chase down every CIS player who might have used steroids, but when Waterloo Regional Police are involved, and terms like "trafficking" are thrown around, it's certainly a noteworthy event and one we felt we should mention.
However, without more information, it's best to leave it there and not speculate further. We'll know more when we know more.
UPDATE (Apr. 1, 11:30 pm ET)
Laurier's team is involved in tests now, reports Rivet, and she says that other teams are being tested as well, possibly McMaster, Guelph, and Western (all the local teams). Rivet talks about "what is believed to be a pipeline of performance-enhancing drugs, one that could be pumping into local high schools and area gyms," which is certainly "explosive" news, but also sounds a lot like "think of the children!"
OUA football convener Peter Baxter's quote in Rivet's article is also notable: "
No doubt it will — people forgot about the Derek Medler story at Laurier six years ago — but it's also notable that someone as versed in spin control as Baxter uses the phrase "this black cloud." That can be stated without risk of fear-mongering.
(Rosemary Pitfield provides another local connection here: she's quoted in the article and referred to as a CCES spokesperson, but is actually their director of communications up in Ottawa, a role she previously held at the City of Kitchener.)
Incidentally, one question that should be asked at some point: the results will take a while to come back, but with exams starting next week, will the unnamed student-athlete be allowed to return to campus by then?
UPDATE (Apr. 3, 12:40 pm ET)
The Hamilton Spectator's in on this now, too: "Marauders coach Stefan Ptaszek said six of the nearly 75-member football team were tested on Wednesday by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports." It was the first time Mac had been tested all year, which is kind of interesting to someone who doesn't follow these things closely. Not to mention the 70 or so McMaster players who weren't tested, on a day when I understand the entire Waterloo team gave urine and/or blood samples. We also learn that the Windsor Lancers have not been tested in relation to this investigation.
UW football player being investigated for use of banned substances (Christine Rivet, The Record)
Drug testers descend on area campuses (Christine Rivet, The Record)
Drug testers descend on area campuses (Nicole O'Reilly, The Hamilton Spectator)
Lancers not hit by drug probe (Jim Parker, The Windsor Star)