Canadian Football League Player Busted Importing Large Quantities of Anabolic Steroids

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A player for the Canadian Football League (CFL) was busted with significant quantities of anabolic steroids by the United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  Jordan Matechuk played four years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats football team as a long-snapper. He was returning to Hamilton (Ontario) from Alberta when he was stopped for a secondary inspection while attempting to cross the International Bridge in Sault Sainte Marie (Michigan). He was busted with 543 oral anabolic steroid pills and 262 milliliters of injectable anabolic steroids in his possession. Many people will question why he was taking this quantity of steroids back to Hamilton, the home of the Tiger-Cats football team. However, the big question is ‘why did he come into the United States if he was traveling from one Canadian province to another?’

While conducting the secondary inspection, CBP officers discovered a pill bottle containing a small amount of a green leafy substance. Continuing their search, officers discovered a small box containing pills and a shaving kit containing vials of liquid steroids. During a pat-down exam, a small amount of marijuana and another two vials of liquid steroids were discovered. The green leafy substance field tested positive as marijuana while the pills and vials of liquid tested positive as steroids.

“Anabolic steroids are a Schedule III controlled substance,” said Devin Chamberlain, Port Director at the Sault Ste Marie port of entry. “It is illegal to be in possession of such without a prescription.”

CBP officers seized a total of 543 anabolic steroid pills, 262 milliliters of anabolic steroids in liquid form, 1.25 grams of marijuana, 19 syringes, and 51 replacement needles. Matechuk was arrested and turned over to the Sault Ste Marie Police Department.

Matechuk was promptly kicked off the football team by Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille.

“Jordan Matechuk is no longer a Hamilton Tiger-Cat. He was released last night — as soon as we were first informed through the media of the charges against him and were able to independently confirm that information,” Bellefeuille said in the statement. “We are deeply, deeply disappointed on two fronts: that a player faces such charges, and that the same player would keep such obviously important information from our organization.” […]

“The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vehemently oppose the use of performance enhancing drugs. They are a serious threat to the health of athletes and the integrity of sport. We also demand honesty and integrity from our players and all members of our organization,” Bellefeuille said. “We support the combined efforts of the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Football League Players Association to target performance enhancing drugs with a new drug policy that is now in effect.”

The Canadian Football League (CFL) has long been criticized for being the only professional sporting league in North America that had not yet implemented steroid testing for its football players. Former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound had once called the CFL a “summer camp” for NFL players suspended for violations of the NFL policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

CFL players agreed to undergo steroid testing in a collective bargaining agreement signed last year. 25% percent of the players in the league will be randomly tested for anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs this year. The percentage will increase to 35% in 2012 and 2013. The steroid testing implemented by CFL is still a far cry from the anti-doping protocols of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Jordan Matechuk

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