Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's runner banned from competition after failing drug test

A St. John’s runner is appealing a sanction handed down by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport after failing to pass a drug test following a race in May.

David Freake says he is unable to compete for four years after he took oral nasal decongestants

Newfoundlander David Freake won the Toronto Marathon in May. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

A St. John's runner is appealing a sanction handed down by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport after failing to pass a drug test following a race in May.

David Freake said he was banned from competition for four years after he took oral nasal decongestants.

Freake said he was approached by a doping control officer after dropping out of a race in Ottawa due to an injury. He said he told the officer he had taken some medication but didn't knowingly take anything banned, he told CBC.

"I believe in a clean sport and love competing. I respect the CCES [Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport] and all that they do," Freake said in an email to CBC News. 

"I hope to appeal the ruling and continue to run as it's something I truly love to do."

Freake says he will appeal a four-year ban for failing a drug test. (David Freake/Twitter)

Freake said he was alerted last Friday about the sanction.

In September, Freake took seven minutes off the course record of a half-marathon in Nova Scotia. In May, he won the Toronto marathon with a time of 02:33:57. 

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport would not comment on the decision. 

However, according to their website, the Canadian Anti-Doping Program "provides for a large degree of flexibility to decrease or increase the sanction depending on the unique facts of each case and the results of evidence-based tests."

For the presence, use or possession of a banned substance, the site states, a runner will be ineligible for either two or four years on a first offence.

CBC News has asked the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletic Association for comment.

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