Football Player Sentenced for Crime that Led to Waterloo Steroid Scandal

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The former University of Waterloo football player that committed the crime “that ultimately brought down his former team in a steroid scandal that made international headlines” was sentenced to a 9-month conditional sentence of house arrest.  

Justice Colin Westman called the football player “a very, very gifted young man,” applauded him for overcoming a troubled childhood, and handed Legare a nine-month conditional sentence to be served in the community.

“If the world was full of people who thought what you’ve thought, it would be a much more successful world,” the judge said. “I respect the kind of insight you have. You’re an intelligent young man.”

Eric Legare was linked to several burglaries of private residences and pleaded guilty to breaking into a commercial business. However, he became notorious for his indirect connection to the steroid scandal at University of Waterloo that resulted in a one-year suspension of the entire Waterloo football program.

Nathan Zettler, one of Legare’s two partners in crime, was busted with thousands of vials of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone after he was implicated in the break-ins with Legare. This sequence of events led to the largest steroid investigation in the history of Canadian college football by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). The end results was criminal charges against Zettler and another teammate, eight analytical and non-analytical positive doping test results, and the suspension of the entire football team for one year.

The harsh sentence for the football team has been criticized for punishing innocent players who were not involved in doping.

The light sentence for Legare for a relatively serious crime was criticized by the prosecutor in the case for not fairly mirroring the severity of the crime(s) committed.

Prosecutor Tony Sferruzzi tried to remind the judge that plenty of people have troubled childhoods and don’t react by breaking into people’s homes.

“The woes that Mr. Legare grew up with are all too common in our society. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be accountable for your actions,” he said. “If you have the capacity to want to help other people, you don’t go into someone’s house and take their stuff.”

Westman also suggested Legare could leave his home to do volunteer work, but Sferruzzi argued that’s too much freedom, pointing out a conditional sentence is supposed to mirror jail time as much as possible.

Justice is rarely blind. The steroid hysteria undoubtedly creates an atmosphere where doping-related events are more harshly (and unfairly?) punished.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the cases related to steroid dealing involving former University of Waterloo football players Nathan Zettler and teammate Brandon Krukowski. If convicted, will their punishes mirror their crimes? What is the severity of steroid-related crimes? How do they compare to crimes against person and property? Will the judge(s) in the steroid cases praise the defendants as they did in Legare’s case?

University of Waterloo football program

About Millard Baker