Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/5/2016 (1415 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg archer who tested positive for a banned substance said he "never intentionally took anything," but concedes his hopes of returning to the Olympics this summer are in doubt.
Jay Lyon, who finished 10th at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and won bronze at the Pan American Games last year in Toronto, tested positive for oxilofrine, a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), on May 4. Lyon’s B sample confirmed the findings May 19.
The tests were conducted while Lyon was competing at the Arizona Cup, an international competition, on April 19.
Oxilofrine is a stimulant that can be found in dietary supplements and herbal teas.
Lyon has been suspended pending a review. He faces a two-year suspension from competition. But if Lyon wins his appeal, it’s possible he could still compete in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Games in August.
In an email exchange, Lyon, 30, indicated he has hired legal counsel for a possible appeal of the results.
"It’s an unfortunate event but at this point I just have to wait and see what happens and be OK with he outcome," Lyon said. "I know I never intentionally took anything so it sucks that his happened, but you just have to learn from it and move on.
"It’s crazy because it’s certainly not anything that would enhance performance in a precision sport like mine but because WADA has it banned you have to accept the situation and see what happens. So we’ll just wait and see."
Prior to the positive test, it was uncertain whether Lyon was going to qualify for the Rio Games. Some spots on the Canadian team are determined by results. Others can be named by the Archery Canada.
An Olympic qualifier is being held for archers in Antalya, Turkey, from June 13 to 19. However, Archery Canada announced this weekend that, due to the positive test and review process, Lyon could not be named to the Canadian team bound for Turkey even though he had previously qualified.
Asked about his Olympic chances, Lyon replied: "It’s hard to say. Maybe I was (going to be selected), I don’t know. That’s up to the governance at Archery Canada to say. I don’t know their process or where they were at in their selection panel."
A spokesman for Archery Canada could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The suspension is the latest a series of off-field incidents that have involved Lyon since he cemented his reputation as one of Canada’s finest archers in Beijing. Last year the archer made national headlines for sharply criticizing Archery Canada on his Facebook account for a decision to pick a younger female shooter over 42-year-old Kateri Vrakking for the Pan Am Games team.
The decision was later reversed, but not before Lyon was made to issue a formal apology to Archery Canada.
Earlier this year, Archery Canada took Lyon to an arbitration hearing at the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, seeking to revoke his national team status and funding for what it argued were repeated breaches of its conduct and training policies.
Among the incidents at issue were a number of critical comments Lyon made about Archery Canada, including a January email in which he suggested the organization would take archers from the "in crowd" to the Olympics instead of the best archers, as well as his failure to adhere to a stated training plan.
On March 30, arbitrator Allan J. Stitt agreed that Lyon breached Archery Canada’s conduct and training policies and athlete agreement, but ultimately decided that rescinding Lyon’s national team status and funding would be "too extreme" a punishment.
Instead, Stitt ordered Lyon to write another apology to Archery Canada, and cited communication problems on both sides. Lyon wrote an apology.
In April, Lyon was barred from an Archery Canada-sanctioned shoot in Argyle, prompting yet another showdown between the archer and administration.
Lyon’s said his long-running feud with the sport’s body has been based largely on the organization’s "cliques" and "one-sided" biases.
"So I don’t have confidence that the matter (disputes with the sport’s ruling body) will ever truly resolve, unfortunately," he said. "But again, much like the oxilofrine, you take it one step at a time, keep a positive attitude and just see what happens and deal with it.
"I have tremendous nationwide support. The right people know the truths and understand and I can’t thank them enough for their support. As an athlete and someone involved in the community as often as I can be, you can only get past obstacles by ignoring any negativity and pushing on as positive as you can.
"As I said," Lyon concluded, "it’s a sucky situation but whatever happens is going to happen and I’ll deal with things when we get there."
— with files from Melissa Martin
Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.