A former University of Manitoba Bisons football player has tested positive for anabolic steroids, the U of M and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports confirmed this morning.
It’s just the second time ever a Bisons athlete has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and the first time in over a decade.
The CCES said Ranji Atwall, a defensive line starter for the Bisons in 2012 and 2013 who has since graduated, tested positive while taking part in a CFL Regional Combine in Edmonton Mar. 17, 2014 -- one of three players who tested positive at that event.
It was the second time Atwall tested positive. The first positive test was in 2011 for cannabis while Atwall was a member of the Canadian Junior Football League’s Vancouver Island Raiders.
Bisons football head coach Brian Dobie said Thursday morning that he had no evidence that led him to believe Atwall was using illegal performance enhancers while a member of the Bisons program the past two seasons, but he’s left to wonder now.
"You always wonder that when these things happen -- of course you wonder that. And you certainly hope that’s not the case," Dobie said.
Coleen Dufresne, U of M athletic director, said the university was disappointed to hear Atwall had tested positive.
"Students athletes are representatives of our institution at all times and we do encourage them to make good choices. But in this case, as we all know, there was a bad one made," Dufresne said.
Dufresne said she doesn’t accept that positive tests by student athletes from time to time is almost inevitable. "No, I don’t think that way," Dufresne said. "Our goal is to have a hundred percent of our student athletes competing fairly and drug free. And so I’m disappointed and I have to say there’s a little bit of anger there. Because I think we do a really good job on educating the athletes on competing fairly and being clean..."
The CCES said Atwall tested positive in a urine test for oxandrolone, which it described as a prohibited anabolic agent. The CCES said Atwall admitted to the offence, waived his right to a hearing and accepted a four-year CIS ban.