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Former U of G athlete receives 2-year suspension for doping violation

Graeme Thompson tested positive for a banned substance at last year's Canadian Track and Field Championships
Graeme Thompson. Photo supplied by Athletics Canada

A former Guelph Gryphon and member of Canada's 2019 World Athletics Championships team has been handed a two-year suspension for a doping violation,  the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has announced. 

Port Hope resident Graeme Thompson, 24, specializes in the 400 metre event. The positive test came at last year's Canadian Track and Field Championships.

He was a three-year member of the U of G track and field team, last competing for the school in 2018-19.

His urine sample, collected during in-competition doping control on July 27, 2019, revealed the presence of clenbuterol (a prohibited anabolic agent) and tamoxifen (a prohibited hormone and metabolic modulator), said the post on the Athletics Canada web site.

“The use of supplements does not compensate for poor food choices and an inadequate diet. Of the many different dietary performance supplements available to athletes, a very small number may enhance performance for some athletes when used in accordance with current evidence under the guidance of a well-informed professional,” read a statement from an Athletics Canada 2010 Nutrition Consensus meeting posted in the announcement by the CCES. 

“Athletes contemplating the use of supplements and sports foods should consider their efficacy, their cost, the risk to health and performance, and the potential for a positive doping test.”

According to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) rules, the standard penalty for those drugs is a four-year ban. However, the CCES concluded that the violation was not intentional and therefore proposed a sanction of two years ineligibility from sport from information given by Thompson. 

In a news release, Athletics Canada stated it promotes a “food first” philosophy over supplements in regards to nutrition and encourages all athletes to undertake due diligence as to whether a supplement is even needed.

"If an athlete chooses to use any type of supplement they should always verify the list of ingredients, as well as use only specific batched tested NSF Certified for Sport of Informed Choice tested products," read an Athletics Canada news release. 

"This still does not completely eliminate the potential for cross-contamination. Supplements are always used at your own risk."

The CCES said Thompson waived his right to a hearing and accepted the proposed penalty in response to the findings. 

His ban terminates on Oct. 9, 2021.