The University of Waterloo has suspended its football program for a year and placed the coaching staff on administrative leave in the wake of a steroids scandal. Bob Copeland, the school’s director of athletics, made the announcement via email Monday.
Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and university officials are holding a news conference Monday to discuss the matter. “We know that this will come as disappointing news to you,” Copeland wrote to the football team. “We expect that you may have questions as a result of this decision and want you to know that you can contact us, your coaching staff, or counselling services at any time.”
The measures stem from the spring arrest of a member of the team for possession and trafficking of anabolic steroids. The school immediately ordered the entire team to be tested. “The whole program is suspended for a year, completely suspended,” fourth-year wide receiver Dustin Zender said. “It’s all due to one individual who ruined it for many, and now the whole team is suffering because of it.”
Players and some family members gathered outside the room where the news conference was to be held, venting their frustration. “The university said they dealt with it in a way that will set an example,” Zender said. “Unfortunately, that example ruins some of the lives of our players here. And because of the actions made by some — who weren’t smart — it now affects players who did the right thing.”
Warriors receiver Nathan Zettler was charged in April. According to The Record newspaper, he is also facing five counts of breaking and entering, possession of stolen property and breaching a probation order. “The biggest thing I’m upset with is our leadership — our captains — we’ve stayed out of trouble, we tested negative, meaning we’re clean,” Warriors defensive back Patrick McGarry said. “And that’s what you should be judging a program by — not the under-skirts of guys who don’t even dress, and who are taking it … it’s just not fair.”