Road To The Olympic Games

Canoe-Kayak

A look at 5 prominent doping incidents involving Canadian athletes

Canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe is the latest Canadian Olympic medal hopeful to get caught up in a doping controversy. She has tested positive for the banned substance Ligandrol — which can help build and repair muscles. Here's a look at five previous doping incidents involving Canadian Olympic athletes.

Ben Johnson's doping case made headlines worldwide

Ben Johnson admitted to doping in the 1989 Dubin Inquiry, a Canadian government investigation into drug abuse. (Tony Duffy/Getty Images)

Canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe is the latest Canadian Olympic medal hopeful to get caught up in a doping controversy. She has tested positive for the banned substance Ligandrol — which can help build and repair muscles — a year out from the Tokyo Games.

The 27-year-old will not compete at this week's canoe sprint world championships in Szeged, Hungary, after failing an out-of-competition doping test in late July and has been provisionally suspended, pending the outcome of her case that is expected to be heard over the next few months, according to her lawyer Adam Klevinas.

Ligandrol, which is not available over the counter, is taken orally as a tablet and is on the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency. It works in a similar way to testosterone and anabolic steroids and can be detected for up to 21 days in the urine of those who take it.

WATCH | Laurence Vincent Lapointe can't explain failed drug test: 

Laurence Vincent Lapointe describes her emotions after hearing she was tested positive for Ligandrol, says she knows she can win without taking banned substances. 2:19

The first positive test was confirmed on Aug. 13 and a second sample was opened, tested in Montreal on Aug. 15 and the next day it confirmed the first positive result.

Here's a look at five previous doping incidents involving Canadian Olympic athletes:

Ben Johnson — Sprinter 

Substance: Stanozolol

In a case that made headlines worldwide, Johnson tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol after winning the 100 metres at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a then-record time of 9.79 seconds. He was stripped of his Olympic title and his record was voided.

After initially denying any wrongdoing, Johnson admitted to doping in the 1989 Dubin Inquiry, a Canadian government investigation into drug abuse. He was also relieved of his 100-metre title from the 1987 world championships in Rome after admitting to taking steroids while preparing for that race.

WATCH | IOC strips Ben Johnson of Olympic gold medal:

During a press conference, the IOC announced that Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson had been stripped of his 100-metre Olympic gold medal. 1:54

Ross Rebagliati — Snowboarder

Substance: THC

Rebagliati had his giant slalom gold medal from the 1998 Nagano Games rescinded after traces of THC, the main psychoactive element of cannabis, were found in his bloodstream following a drug test. THC was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances at the time, and Rebagliati argued the substance was the result of second-hand smoke. The decision to strip Rebagliati of his medal was eventually overturned.

He became somewhat of a minor celebrity after the decision, with a writeup in Sports Illustrated and an appearance on Jay Leno's "The Tonight Show."

Men's Giant Slalom Snowboard gold medal winner Ross Rebagliati of Canada shows his delight during the medal ceremony at the XVIII Winter Olympic Games February 8. Rebagliati won Canada's first gold medal of the games. - PBEAHULZMAK (Reuters)

Silken Laumann — Rower

Substance: Pseudoephedrine

One of Canada's most respected amateur athletes, Laumann suffered a brief hit to her reputation when pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medications, was found in her system after she helped Canada to a gold medal in quadruple skulls at the 1995 Pan American Games. The Canadian squad had its medal stripped, but Laumann made a convincing case that the positive test was the result of a botched prescription by team doctors, and she was not suspended by rowing's international governing body.

Laumann, a world champion who gained fame when she improbably won a single sculls bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games despite having her right leg severely broken in a rowing accident the previous year, went on to win a silver at the '96 Olympics.

Pseudoephedrine has had an inconstant status among banned substances. It was removed from the list in 2004 before WADA re-introduced it in 2010.

Silken Laumann was found to have pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medications, in her system. But she recovered from the initial hit that her reputation took. (Hans Deryk/The Canadian Press)

Eric Lamaze — Equestrian

Substance: Cocaine

Lamaze lost his spot on Canada's equestrian team for the 1996 Olympics after receiving a four-year ban for a positive cocaine test. His ban was overturned a year later when an arbitrator ruled that Lamaze's personal story of growing up around drugs was a mitigating factor to his offence.

Lamaze quickly rebuilt his reputation and has become one of Canada's most decorated jumpers, including an individual gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Despite a four-year ban, Eric Lamaze managed to come back and win an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Ryder Hesjedal — Cyclist

Substance: EPO

The only Canadian to win a prestigious Grand Tour event when he captured the Giro d'Italia in 2012, Hesjedal was caught up in cycling's famous doping scandal that made headlines when Lance Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles. The United States Anti-Doping Agency alleged Armstrong was the ringleader of an extensive doping program involving erythropoietin (EPO), which is used to stimulate the creation of oxygen-rich red blood cells.

Disgraced Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen alleged in his 2013 book "Yellow Fever" that he taught Hesjedal how to take banned substances, including EPO. While Hesjedal did not confirm any specific allegation against him, the two-time Olympian said in a statement: "I sincerely apologize for my part in the dark past of the sport. I will always be sorry."

"Even though those mistakes happened more than 10 years ago, and they were short-lived, it does not change the fact that I made them and I have lived with that and been sorry for it ever since."

With files from CBC Sports reporter Doug Harrison

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