Fifty unannounced out-of-season tests on CIS footballers — and two positives for performance-enhancing drugs. Two linebackers, Windsor's Chris Deneau (methyl-1-testosterone) and Acadia's Taylor Shadgett (stanazolol), tested positive. There is also "another 'potential violation.' " Reportedly, it was for marijuana, which isn't a banned substance during the off-season.
So much for one of the biggest doping scandals in the country's history, regardless of the over-the-top hilarity in the dead-tree medium. ("War on drugs?" With all due respect, that is a little irony-deficient. How is that original war on drugs working out?)
That six per cent figure is lower than the results from the team-wide testing at the University of Waterloo. It points to the problem, so-called, being more isolated than we have been led to believe during the post-Waterloo witchhunt.
Please consider this a case of all this for what? Two players on insignificant teams get pinched. In return, there is more bad publicity, more media drive-byes and more people whose first point of reference with CIS football will be steroids, for however long. Please explain why CIS football bears the brunt of it in the court of public opinion when a smoking gun is the CFL's previous lack of a policy (note Queen's coach Pat Sheahan's words about how it created a "conundrum").
Thanks to CIS' matchsticks-and-gasoline approach to media relations, a three-day story gets an even longer shelf life. Meantime, no one in the drive-by media bothers to ask why only football will have increased enforcement, or whether only testing players identified as CFL prospects will actually stamp out steroids when the pinched players have varied from starters to scrubs.
In other words, it's selective enforcement done in the service of public relations.
Meantime, people are left to pretend everything else is hunky-dory.
If CIS CEO Marg McGregor wants to talk integrity, let's set out a working definition of integrity.
Integrity is ...
- ... Presenting an image of your league that would keep people from writing about " " when the testing results show otherwise.
How come no one on a conference championship team got busted, but players on have-not teams got caught?
Perhaps players were already self-policing themselves relatively well. No one wanted to be the guy whose positive test led to a team being stripped of a championship.
Meantime, those on have-not teams might have figured getting caught won't lead to program to a vacating a Yates Cup title. There's still a chance of moving on to the CFL, which as noted, is the real culprit for not testing until it acted retroactively.
- ... the same thing, phrased differently: Not selling out your athletes in order to keep CCES sportocrats such as Doug MacQuarrie in business. Get a load of this line of self-justifying dreck:
"Sport in Canada is a source of great community spirit and pride for Canadians of all ages. We all share a responsibility to ensure that young athletes don't grow up believing that the route to winning or making the team is by using performance enhancing drugs."Performance enhancing drug use among adolescents is on the decline — fact. Also, aren't many, perhaps most steroid users people not involved in a competitive sport? It's a gross generalization to presume what someone's motivation is to use steroids.
- ... making sure the games have integrity.
How does the University of Waterloo kneecapping its program for the next decade help with the integrity of a league whose premise is that games are going to be competitive?
What integrity is there in a governing body that has done nothing about having two football teams in the country's biggest media market, York and Toronto, which have been largely uncompetitive for much of the past 15 years?
What integrity is there in teams who haven't been convicted of anything playing an irregular schedule this fall?
- ... standing firm and punishing drug cheats directly instead of overreacting in order to appease Big Media. The village didn't need to be burned.
What is not fine is Canadian Interuniversity Sport having blinders on vis-à-vis the big picture. Its woodenheadedness, letting a politically correct fake concern about steroids in sport override common sense, has backfired big-time.
Perhaps there should be an independent task force to look at how CIS promotes university football.