When I think of the new anti-doping partnership between the CFL and the CIS, I think of that old saying like father, like son.
Problem is, the CFL’s new anti-doping program tacitly encourages drug use with butter-soft penalties and a plethora of second-chances. And when the father’s a drug addict, the son will likely wind up one too.
I don’t hesitate to label the CFL drugaddicted because under its new antidoping policy, football players need four — count ‘em, FOUR — positive drug tests before being kicked out of the league. On the first offense, the offender’s name isn’t even made public. Instead, they receive a psychiatric evaluation that looks for underlying causes behind their decision to use steroids.
What is this, a Dr. Phil episode? Get real. Cheaters dope because they want success without the hard work and the talent. That isn’t the type of athlete that should be getting second chances, let alone third or fourth ones.The message that sends to student-athletes looking to break into the CFL is exactly what the anti-doping measures are supposed to be addressing: the notion that cheating’s okay, so long as you put up the numbers.
Is it any wonder that CIS football players are turning to steroids? Why not do steroids when you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting caught, and if you do you get a menial slap-on-the-wrist?
The CFL has never been a role model when it comes to anti-doping. They were the only professional sports league in North America that didn’t have a drug testing program until this year. The Waterloo scandal gave them the chance to implement a truly progressive program, yet they opted for one that’s nothing more then window dressing.
For there to ever be a sea-change in the attitudes of student-athletes towards drug use, the CFL must institute a drug policy with career-ending consequences. Perhaps then, wayward athletes would give pause before using steroids to further their careers.
How about this: if you get caught using steroids, you’re name is made public, you’re banned for life and your name is stricken from the record books. It’d be like you never even existed.
It’s high time this father figure gave his bratty son an old-fashioned spanking.