Stampeders RB Roy Finch suspended for banned substance

Running back Roy Finch of the Calgary Stampeders has been suspended two games for violating the CFL's drug policy. The league announced Monday that Finch tested positive for a banned substance (D-amphetamine).

'I was taking the medication to treat attention-deficit disorder,' says Toronto native

Stampeders running back Roy Finch was suspended two games Monday after testing positive for a banned substance (D-amphetamine). A second offence would result in a nine-game ban. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Calgary Stampeder running back Roy Finch says he made a mistake trying to treat his attention deficit disorder and it resulted in a two-game suspension.

The CFL suspended the 25-year-old Monday for testing positive for amphetamine.

Finch says he took Adderall to treat attention deficit disorder and failed to clear the medication with Stampeder doctors.

"I take full responsibility for my actions. I had no intent to cheat the game," Finch said Monday at McMahon Stadium following Stampeder practice.

"I took some medication for attention deficit disorder. I went about it the wrong way, but I'm going through the right procedures to get this medication prescribed to me."

Calgary's top returner and No. 2 running back behind Jerome Messam will not play Thursday in Calgary's home-opener against the Ottawa Redblacks or the following week in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers.

"It's unfortunate. It's disappointing," Stampeder head coach Dave Dickenson said. "It's a mistake that can be preventable. We like him as a guy and he should have been smarter. He has to pay the price."

The players are responsible for clearing their medications with Stampeder medical staff, Dickenson said.

"We do a seminar every year to educate them. Whether the guys listen or not . . . that's the thing," the coach said. "They're responsible for what goes into their body."

Finch, five foot seven and 171 pounds, posted a combined 135 return yards in last week's tie in Ottawa.

The former Oklahoma Sooner from Niceville, Fla., totalled 2,053 return yards in 2016 for the Stampeders.

Anxiety treatment

He says he was diagnosed with ADD in elementary school, but his family couldn't afford treatment.

"My family, we don't really come from a lot," he said. "We just never had the financial money to be able to get it."

Finch says ADD causes him anxiety when he's not on the field and added that Adderall was helping.

The CFL conducts random drug testing year round. Players receive a two-game suspension for a first doping violation.

A second offence results in a nine-game suspension. The penalty is a year-long suspension for a third violation with a fourth resulting in a lifetime ban.

All players are subject to mandatory drug testing once testing positive. They participate in an assessment and clinical evaluation to determine if they need additional counselling.

While Finch can't play in Calgary's next two games, it's up to the club to determine if he'll be allowed to practise and attend team meetings while suspended.

"We understand the medication taken by Roy was to treat a legitimate medical condition however, by failing to follow procedure and obtain a therapeutic-use exception, Roy is subject to this penalty," Stampeder general manager John Hufnagel said in a statement.

"While I believe this was an honest mistake on Roy's part, it was a mistake nevertheless and it's important that he and all players learn from this episode."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.