Ranji Atwall, a former football player with the University of Manitoba Bisons, has received a four-year sanction from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) after violating doping rules for a second time.

Ranji Atwall

Former University of Manitoba Bison football team captain finished his eligibility with the team last season. (University of Manitoba Bison Football)

Atwall tested positive for an anabolic steroid during testing at the CFL's regional combine in March, a pre-draft camp where CFL scouts scope out talent at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level.

It's his second positive test, after testing positive for cannabis in 2011.

Atwall completed his eligibility for CIS football in the fall of 2013 and was hoping to launch a professional career.

He is still eligible to turn pro under the ban, but would be required to undergo regular drug testing as a result of the sanctioning.

The University of Manitoba department of athletics responded to the ruling Thursday morning.

"Bison Sports is disappointed that a student-athlete has chosen to break the terms of their code of conduct agreement with the University and the CIS by violating anti-doping regulations," Coleen Dufresne, athletic director of Bison Sports, wrote in a statement.

"The University of Manitoba is unequivocally opposed to the use of any banned substance or performance-enhancing drugs or practices in contravention of the rules of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES)," she added.

"Bison Sports has and will continue to strive to educate its’ student-athletes and to promote a drug-free sport.”

Bisons football head coach Brian Dobie told reporters that he has spoken with Antwall.

"He's paying his own personal consequences right now," Dobie said.

"He's suffering through that right now … on a very, very, very, very bad choice that he made, and [he] certainly realizes the implications of that choice."

A CFL spokesperson told CBC that as a previous offender, Atwall would enter the league with one strike against him. If he tests positive again, he would be subject to an automatic three-game suspension.