With soft steroid stance, CFL is dopers' delight

[url=http://www.winnipegsun.com/2015/06/13/with-soft-steroid-stance-cfl-is-dopers-delight]http://www.winnipegsun.com/2015/06/13/w ... rs-delight[/url]
It began with two words on a Twitter feed.

And I wasn’t even sure if they were posted in earnest or as sarcasm.

“A shame!? CFL player agent Darren Gill tweeted in the late afternoon on May 13, the day of the annual CFL draft.

Gill, one of the top agents in the game, was responding to my own Twitter post about the three university steroid users who were drafted despite their recent doping infractions.

It turned out Gill wasn’t being sarcastic, and a day later he and University of Manitoba Bisons head coach Brian Dobie gave interviews that would resonate at the highest levels of the fight against doping – eventually crumbling the very foundation of the CFL’s fatally flawed drug policy.

Exactly one month later, the league’s shameful lack of leadership on the issue and failure to acknowledge its shortcomings has effectively left it without any credible program at all as the 2015 season approaches.

That five of 62 athletes tested at the pre-draft CFL combine – a full eight percent – were found to be doping, up from one the year before, signalled a dangerous trend that had to be stopped, Gill and Dobie had said.

The head of a world-renowned lab in Laval, Que., where one of the drafted drug cheats went to university, read the ensuing Winnipeg Sun story and decided enough was enough.

Dr. Christiane Ayotte, head of the only lab in Canada approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency, contacted the Sun to reveal publicly what she’d told the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) at the end of the last CFL season: she could no longer in good conscience handle the testing for CFL players.

Too many of them were testing positive for steroids without a penalty, Ayotte said, wondering if they could be using the first freebie to learn how to beat the system.

The league’s lax policy – first-time cheaters aren’t identified or suspended – went against the core principles of the anti-doping fight, she said, and the increase in doping at the college level only hammered home her concerns.

The head of WADA, David Howman, reading the news while down in New Zealand, was next to wade in, contacting the Sun with his concerns about the lack of teeth in the CFL policy.

Now, this wasn’t the first time a professional sports entity had been called on the carpet over its unwillingness to take doping seriously.

But it’s the first time one has reacted the way the CFL and its players union is reacting.

Urged by CCES over the last few years to toughen up its regulations to get more in line with the times, the league this past week instead slammed the door on the agency that oversees drug programs in this country, getting the little finger of credibility it had on the issue caught in the process.

Its nose out of joint from the public criticism, the league has cut it off instead of trying to fix it, spiting the face of a game that claims to represent Canadian values.

“I had hoped that my ‘coming out’ would have prompted positive changes instead of denegation and excuses,? Ayotte told the Sun on the weekend.

What a contrast from the way Canadian Interuniversity Sport handled its drug crisis five years ago.

When the University of Waterloo football program was found to be bloated with steroid users, the team was shut down and the CIS immediately stepped up testing, and continues to do so today.

Our universities follow the WADA code, banning users for four years on the first offence. The CFL can’t even bring itself to take cheaters off the field for a few games unless they’re caught a second time.

How far out of step is the three-down game?

Even the UFC now puts to shame the CFL’s stance on drugs, signing up with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the American version of CCES, just this month.

“If I was running a company and we were dealing with an issue, I would want to get the best expertise I could to help address that issue,? CCES boss Paul Melia told the Sun. “It was only a few short months ago the UFC was saying we don’t need to do anything about doping. They have addressed it… they’re a leader in North American professional sports now.?

The CFL, with its new commissioner and new head of the players union, looks backwards and broken.

And that really is a shame.


The anti-doping agencies look lazy to the point of being incompetent to get all stakeholders together from various pro leagues to come to a consensus on what harshness is and a directive, policy, guideline whatever that has been signed off by the various stakeholders. They need to learn how practice guidelines, the most highly respected ones, are created in the medical field and continually updated for relevancy.

Sure, it's easy to say the CFL is backwards and broken in the poppy press but the anti-doping agencies are simply too lazy to bring the stakeholders together for a consensus driven protocol. Benchmarks need to be determined and formally written in a document that is clear and precise. Until such time, let the press have a field day with how they want to interpret the issues without a precise and clear protocol.

Right Earl... Everyobody is wrong but the CFL/PA... :lol:

All the CFL has to do is become a signatory of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and the Union won't have a pot to pizz in. They will have to fall in line. Give the union fair notice (3 to 6 months) so they can educate their members and be done with it.

Not at all. But again the poppy press and you and me and a lazy spokesperson for an anti-doping agency and the leagues and PAs etc. are fluttering about in an open sea with no clear, written direction based on a stakeholder consensus process with a methodology that is transparent for all to critique from an evidentiary aspect.

The CFL and CFLPA could be very "wrong" but it has to be based on a rigorous methodological scientific consensus driven process. That is absent at this point.

For example, see this process for guideline development from Cancer Care Ontario.:

[i]Program in Evidence-Based Care

Cancer Care Ontario’s Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC) is an internationally recognized guideline development program that works to improve the quality of cancer care by helping clinicians and policy makers to apply the best scientific evidence in practice and policy decisions.
PEBC guidelines cover the entire continuum of cancer care — prevention, screening, diagnostic assessment, treatment, palliative care and survivorship.
Who creates PEBC guidelines?
The PEBC produces evidence-based guidance documents in partnership with clinical experts in all major cancer disease sites and across all clinical programs and modalities.
More than 200 clinicians and other experts are involved annually in our multidisciplinary panels, who review evidence and draft recommendations for these guidelines.
Over 1,000 additional reviewers are available to participate through the process of external review.
For more information about the PEBC and our guideline development process, download the PEBC Handbook.[/i]


How do you KNOW they haven’t tried? Curious to hear your answer as you seem very sure of yourself here.

before i can make a valid judgement lets look at the numbers.
how many players were tested ?
how many tested positive ?
how many repeat offenders ?
does anyone know the availability of these stats and where they can be accessed ?

What was said in the media

25 percent of CFL players HAVE EVER BEEN TESTED
3.5 percent have tested positive

We don't know how many times if any offenders have been retested.

Compare that to Manny Pacquiao who was tested SIXTEEN times (blood and urine) in a three month period before the Mayweather fight.

Rather than adding this article to your already existing thread, you make another on the same topic so you can repeat all the same rhetoric.


You gonna cry ? :cry:

I"m posting facts. Your posting the rhetoric.

How do you KNOW they haven't tried? Curious to hear your answer as you seem very sure of yourself here.
brad, It's not rocket science to produce quality guidelines, Cancer Care Ontario and many other health organizations the world over produce guidelines all the time that are of good quality and trustworthy in many cases. (website for guideline development, quality assurance - http://www.agreetrust.org/ ) Yes, it does take a lot of effort and funding of course. You seem to be suggesting that they may not have been able to get all the stakeholders to meetings and consensus development conferences. Who knows. All I know is that I don't see any guidelines that have been produced with a evidence-based methodology that brings the stakeholders ie. pro leagues in this case, to be able to produce a document all can live with.

One other thing I forgot to mention is that practice guidelines are not without problems and there have been suggestions for other methods for quality assurance in health care along those lines as below but for the most part, we are living in a clinical practice guidelines environment with respect to health care and how it should be practiced at the highest level with evidence as a key factor.

Standardized Clinical Assessment And Management Plans (SCAMPs) Provide A Better Alternative To Clinical Practice Guidelines

Variability in medical practice in the United States leads to higher costs without achieving better patient outcomes. Clinical practice guidelines, which are intended to reduce variation and improve care, have several drawbacks that limit the extent of buy-in by clinicians. In contrast, standardized clinical assessment and management plans (SCAMPs) offer a clinician-designed approach to promoting care standardization that accommodates patients’ individual differences, respects providers’ clinical acumen, and keeps pace with the rapid growth of medical knowledge. Since early 2009 more than 12,000 patients have been enrolled in forty-nine SCAMPs in nine states and Washington, D.C. In one example, a SCAMP was credited with increasing clinicians’ rate of compliance with a recommended specialist referral for children from 19.6 percent to 75 percent. In another example, SCAMPs were associated with an 11–51 percent decrease in total medical expenses for six conditions when compared with a historical cohort. Innovative tools such as SCAMPs should be carefully examined by policy makers searching for methods to promote the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care.


Oops, here is the fulltext of the SCAMPS article, I posted the wrong link above:


We have learned NOTHING from baseball.

Baseball took the 'see no evil hear no evil' approach and now look at the mess it got them into. Football probably has more steroid abuse than baseball and we use the same 'see no evil, hear no evil' tactic.

The CFL's doping policy is panty-waist and toothless. Why? Because the league doesn't want to catch anyone. If they do it's feared to be bad publicity. Publicity is more important than fair play and the long term health of athletes in this country.

But then again that is in line with what the fans want. When the story broke last week that Ms Ayotte from the lab leaked the numbers, we had countless members of this forum slam her, not just criticize, SLAM her for the leak. It was very easy for the members of this site to separate the issues of the weak drug policy itself from the story of the leak, and that in itself is fine. But the absoulte complete outrage and ridicule of Ms Ayotte compared to a tiny minority of two posters commenting on the actual doping policy and its softness (and that minority's subsequent ridicule as well) shows that we, a VAST MAJORITY of members of this site, STRONGLY wish to continue to pretend that there is no steroid problem, or at least that the problem is so minor that it is not worth talking about.

Leak = HUGE ridicule.
Doping in CFL = afterthought.

This is the choice we are making. Are you happy with that? re you sure that this is the statement that you want to make to our game and to the future generations of our football players?

Then let's get the anti-doping agencies to develop evidence based consensus guidelines that all can/must follow because I agree, we want all leagues to be consistent from league to league with respect to cheaters. A cheater is a cheater, whether it be tiddly winks or football or whatever in sports. Get the stakeholders to agree on protocols including protocols for violations that are consistent from league to league in at least the same sport, might be difficult to apply standards from darts to gridiron. :wink:

Is there a reason why guidelines for doping should be different from the NFL to the CFL to the CIS to the NCAA to high schools both sides of the border etc? Pro or amateur? These questions must be tackled from an evidence based consensus approach to be reasonably valid IMHO. And externally critiqued as well. It's not easy but that's how it's done in how our health care system works, we live in a practice guidelines health society. We should expect nothing less from doping in sports.

Leaks, ridicule etc. those are comic book poppy media stuff. Let's get to the science of the matter and the true social science of how to apply the protocols in pro sports.

I have no clue what your are talking about there are over a hundred federations that are signatories of the CADP. There is consensus...That includes the CIS.

What was said in the media

25 percent of CFL players HAVE EVER BEEN TESTED
3.5 percent have tested positive

We don't know how many times if any offenders have been retested.

with a 46 man roster and a 10 man practice roster that's 56 players per team , 9 teams 504 players of the 25% or 126 players tested , 3.5% tested positive equals 4.41 or 5 players tested positive per year

25 percent of active players have ever been tested.

Chris Best said this week he's never been tested in his five year CFL career....

I have no clue what your are talking about there are over a hundred federations that are signatories of the CADP. There is consensus...That includes the CIS.
HF, then show me these consensus based protcols/guidelines. Here's one from Cancer Care Ontario that has many stakeholders named in an evidence based consensus document:

A Quality Initiative of the Program in Evidence-Based Care (PEBC), Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)

Positron Emission Tomography in Radiation Treatment Planning for Lung Cancer - Y.C. Ung, A. Bezjak, N. Coakley, W.K. Evans, and the Lung Cancer Disease Site Group

[url=https://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=86361]https://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pag ... leId=86361[/url]

Show me and produce with methodology criteria how Cancer Care Ontario does what you're talking about. Put up or shut up my man. Give me the link(s) and let's see what you're talking about.

Is this what your looking for ?

[url=https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/wada-2015-world-anti-doping-code.pdf]https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com ... g-code.pdf[/url]