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This article was published 3/11/2009 (4201 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG — University of Manitoba Bisons football team took a major hit Tuesday when the Canadian West University Athletic Association announced that due to an eligibility violation, the results of three games played by the Bisons have been overturned.
The two games won by Manitoba over UBC and Alberta have been changed to losses and wins for the two opponents. The third game, Manitoba at Simon Fraser has been declared a no contest because both teams used an ineligible player.
Yesterday’s ruling dropped the Bisons record to two wins, five losses and one no contest, changing the playoff structure, replacing Manitoba with Regina Rams who will now play Saskatchewan Huskies in one semifinal at Saskatoon Saturday.
The infraction came to light on Oct 16, when Bisons offensive coordinator Vaughan Mitchell found an item on a football chat list, which he showed to head coach Brian Dobie who in turn presented it to athletic director Coleen Dufresne.
"I reviewed the CIS regulations and immediately self-disclosed to the CIS that we had inadvertently played an ineligible player (wide receiver Julian Hardy) and removed him from the active playing roster," said Dufresne, from a release.
While at the U of Ottawa in 2001, Hardy, had participated in a doping control session, conducted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). The CIS was advised by the CCES, that his sample was positive for methenolone and metabolites, which constituted a doping infraction in accordance with the International Olympic Committee policy.
Dufresne said Hardy had been using supplements given to him by the football staff at Bowling Green, where he had been the previous year, and was unaware they would present a doping problem.
The Ottawa native could have qualified for a reduction in his suspension, had he been informed that in March of 2003, the CCES formally accepted the new World Anti-Doping Code. That necessitated changes to its’ existing policy, which dictated that the penalty for a first-year infraction was a four-year suspension. Under new regulation, which came into effect on June 1, 2004 the penalty for a first infraction became two years, and in 2004 a motion was passed by CIS to accept, upon application, a reduction to two years, for the four CIS student athletes currently serving four year suspensions, including Hardy.
"Unfortunately," said Dufresne, "no one contacted Julian. Had he known, he would have pursued it immediately. As a result, he used up his five years of eligibility."
When Hardy enrolled at Manitoba in 2007, Dobie sent him to assistant athletic director Curt Warkentin, to have his eligibility checked out. "Warkentin was made aware of his 2001 doping infraction at this time," said Dufresne, "but upon review of his academic and athletic history, and seeing it was almost six years since the infraction, Hardy was ruled as eligible to compete. Curt, Brian and myself should have been aware, and we were not. We let it slip.
"The football program never knowingly played an ineligible player. There was no attempt to cheat."
Dobie, said he would meet with his players later Tuesday. "Our fifth-year guys are really rocked by this, and we need to deal with that. I want to go through everything with them. I want to make sure I am open to every and all questions."