On Campus

UCalgary football player suspended for steroid use

Team's head coach says positive drug test is a "slap in the face"

A University of Calgary Dinos football player has been suspended from competitive university athletics for two years after testing positive for steroid use.

Last March, linebacker Duncan McLean, 25, tested positive for Oxymetholone metabolites, a prohibited and very toxic anabolic steroid that has serious potential side effects according to the testing agency, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

When informed of the test results in April, the Vernon, B.C. native waived his right to hearing and admitted to breaking the anti-doping rules followed by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport association. McLean’s football career is essentially over at the school, as he as already played for three years.

“The University of Calgary is unequivocally opposed to the use of banned substances by our student-athletes,” said Kevin Boyles, director of athletics for the university in yesterday’s press release.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy both at the UofC and in CIS,” he said. “We are fully supportive of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and hope that this unfortunate situation sends a strong message throughout the league.”

Calgary Dinos football head coach Blake Nill says he wishes it didn’t take one of his athletes to test positive for an anabolic steroid to reinforce the league’s rules .

“This is the first one in 18 years for me. It’s tough,” Nill told The Canadian Press Wednesday, just hours after McLean was officially suspended.

“Our drug-testing is one of the best there is. Eventually, you’re going to get caught. If you try to take a performance-enhancer, you’re going to get caught. You see it all the time, but it’s unfortunate it happened in my program.”

Nill says he worries about the impact McLean’s suspension will have on the reputation of his school’s football program, although he has already phoned the families of incoming recruits to assure the parents that drug use isn’t a problem in his locker room.

“It’s still a shock when it happens,” Nill said. “Coaching at the university level is like adopting the athletes. It’s like I have 100 sons, I’m the surrogate father to 100 kids … I consider this sort of a slap-in-the-face type thing. I don’t feel responsible for it, but I’m disappointed it happened.”

– with files from The Canadian Press, photo courtesy of D’Arcy Norman

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