With the recent doping news drawing significant interest from the paddling community, Canoe Kayak Canada is sharing the following message from High Performance Director Scott Logan and CEO Casey Wade. This message was sent to high performance athletes and coaches this week and will provide you with an update on the situation.
Dear athletes and coaches,
The recent doping news has been troubling to all of us in the sport community. As many of you are aware, within the last week, the International Canoe Federation has given one-year suspensions to the full Romanian and Belorussian Senior Men’s Teams. Eleven athletes on the Romanian team tested positive in April 2016, mostly for the use of Meldonium, and five male Belorussian athletes were recently found guilty of using banned substances at a training camp in France.
Canoe Kayak Canada has made significant efforts to try to obtain any additional quota spots reallocated as a result of these doping violations. We wrote to the ICF for clearer interpretation of the rules in hopes that they would change their position regarding one additional C1 spot. The ICF subsequently reallocated the spots from the Romanian and Belorussian teams and these have not affected Canada’s quota count.
In addition to the above, the WADA Independent Person Report by Richard McLaren was also released this week and found systematic state-sponsored doping throughout the Russian team. This report led to WADA’s recommendation to the IOC to ban Russia from the Rio Olympic Games.
The IOC has not yet ruled on sanctions for the Russian team as they are awaiting a legal precedent ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on an appeal from several Russian Track and Field athletes who have already been banned. We hope to hear of the IOC’s decision this Friday and the ICF is monitoring the situation. Canoe Kayak Canada will exhaust every effort to secure any quota spots available as a result of doping.
Beyond the implications for participation in the Olympic Games, we understand the recent news may well affect team moral. As a team we share ambitious goals and it is important that we remain focused on what we have set out to achieve.
As you can appreciate, Canada has been a leading nation when it comes to integrity in sport. You continue to prove your integrity by complying with the rigorous anti-doping controls of the Canadian and International system. We certainly share your frustration in learning of reports of teams systematically evading these controls.
The positive aspect to this news is that athletes in violation of the rules are being caught and sanctioned.
We hope that all of you, as athletes and coaches, will remain undeterred and committed to your goals as you continue to represent Canada with the utmost pride and integrity.
Good luck with your continued training and we’ll keep you posted on any additional news.
Scott Logan and Casey Wade
Canoe Kayak Canada