Football: Two Laval players suspended

The news broke a couple of days ago, and I'll quote liberally from the CCES release:

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport announced that two Université Laval football players have received sanctions for the use of performance enhancing substances.

On February 7, at Laval’s PEPS complex, the Centre for Ethics in Sport conducted 33 doping control tests on Laval football players during a morning training session. A second year linebacker, Michaël Abraham had his urine sample return an adverse analytical finding for the presence of 19-norandrosterone. Abraham waived his right to a hearing and acknowledged the commission of an anti-doping rule violation. He received a sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility.

On March 6, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport conducted further doping control tests on 25 Laval football players during a spring training camp in Orlando, Florida. Steeve Vachon, a first year offensive line player, had his urine sample return an adverse analytical finding for the presence of methandienone. Vachon waived his right to a hearing and received a sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility.

From this perspective, there hasn't been the sturm und drang that we saw with the Waterloo players last year, though obviously that involved a criminal investigation and, eventually, a suspension for the entire team. It also may be less of a story down here in Upper Canada because, well, these guys play all the way up there. Allan Maki rewrote a few press releases, and everyone called it a day.

In fact, one of the few value-add pieces I could find was by friends of the blog Deux Fans (who also include the always-subtle Sun Media front pages). As is often the case, and as they point out, the players involved are not superstars. Neither played in the Vanier Cup this year, though Abraham was set to become the long snapper in 2011, apparently.

For the more cynical among us, it was less an exercise in "catching cheaters" and more an enjoyable game of "which line of defence will we hear?" (I make no assertions about the truth, or truthiness, behind anyone's claims.) Abraham went with the popular "I bought it over-the-counter and didn't know." Or maybe that was Vachon. The Laval release doesn't properly attribute the statement, but everyone seems to think it was Abraham, and who I am to disagree with Mark Masters? (Or should I say with Mark Masters' soulful mug shot?). Whoever it was, he seems to be the only player among those who were tested who used this supplement.

Come September, this will certainly lead to some jokes, taunting, and (if we are lucky) creative French-language puns on "methandienone."
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  1. I want to hug Mark Masters and tell him that everything will be ok, even though in our heart of hearts, we both know it probably won't be.

  2. All industries are fueled by certain substances; the human species loves its consumption practices. Bureacracies need prestige and money to facilitate their growth (see the CCES). Athletic programmes need attention and public interest. It shouldn't be overly suprising that the athletes, at least a certain percentage of them, are fueled by cocktail of products, some of which are beyond the margins of what is considered acceptable.

    I can't help but wonder how this news will colour the perspective of the Quebec City Beast. I assume that the relative invisibility of CIS sport will render this news for the recycle bin, relatively soon. However, should this test-positive capture the attention of someone who wants to turn it into a morality play, the story may not play itself out as quietly as most assume it should. I suppose that UW's policy of absolute panic will be proven valid or overkill depending on how this little tidbit plays out.

    Righteous Slide