British Columbia

2 UBC football players face sanctions for positive doping tests

T-Birds defensive backs Stavros Katsantonis and Malcom Lee both tested positive for the banned anabolic agent SARM LGD-4033 after attempting to turn pro.

Stavros Katsantonis and Malcom Lee both tested positive for a banned drug after attempting to turn pro

UBC football players Stavros Katsantonis (left) and Malcom Lee both tested positive for a banned anabolic performance enhancing drug in March 2019. (UBC Athletics)

A University of British Columbia football player has been handed a four-year competition ban by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport after testing positive for the performance enhancing anabolic drug SARM LDG-4033.

The sanction means fourth-year T-Bird Stavros Katsantonis will not be eligible to play Canadian university football again until 2023.

His four-year ban from the CCES and USPORTS was announced today.

However, he could play in the Canadian Football League as early as next year because its penalty for a positive doping test is a one-year ban, compared to a four-year ban by the Canadian university sports system, called USPORTS.

Both Katsantonis and fellow UBC defensive back Malcom Lee gave positive urine samples during an out-of-competition test conducted on March 22, 2019. March 22 was also the first day of a CFL scouting combine — an evaluation camp for prospects — in Toronto.

After news of his positive test was made public last month, Katsantonis waived his right to a hearing and opted out of this year's CFL draft, effectively accepting a one-year ban from the league and delaying his draft eligibility until 2020.

Lee, on the other hand, elected to stay in the 2019 draft and he was selected 46th overall by the Calgary Stampeders. He did not waive his right to a hearing which has triggered the testing of his second or "B" urine sample from March. If it comes back positive as well, Lee will also face a one-year ban from the CFL.

According to a statement from UBC's senior athletic director Gilles Lepine, both Katsantonis and Lee informed the school that they were turning pro at the end of the USPORTS season in November of last year.

"The testing the CCES references occurred in March of this year, after the 2018 season when both individuals were taking part in a third-party training regimen in the United States in preparation for combines and the CFL draft. This program was not affiliated with UBC Football," said Lepine. 

SARM LDG-4033 or Ligandrol, as it is also known, is an unapproved drug developed to treat muscle wasting and osteoporosis. The internet is full of advice on how athletes can use it to build strength and muscle mass.

Lee, a highly touted Canadian player from Surrey, registered 24 tackles in eight games with UBC last season, while California native Katsantonis registered 50 tackles in nine games.

Other athletes who have tested positive for SARM LDG-4033 include former Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier and NBA player Joakim Noah. 

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