Canadian Olympic bobsleigh medallist Christine de Bruin suspended 3 years for doping violation

The career of Canadian Olympic bobsleigh pilot Christine de Bruin is in question after she was handed a three-year suspension for testing positive for a prohibited anabolic agent, as announced by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) on Friday.

August urine sample of 33-year-old revealed presence of prohibited anabolic agent

Christine de Bruin is shown in this February 2022 file photo celebrating with her Olympic bronze medal earned in the women's monobob event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (Pavel Golovkin/The Associated Press)

The career of Canadian Olympic bobsleigh pilot Christine de Bruin is in question after she was handed a three-year suspension for testing positive for a prohibited anabolic agent, as announced by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) on Friday.

An out-of-competition urine sample taken in August revealed the SARM LGD-4033 substance, better known as Ligandrol, known to increase lean muscle mass, in de Bruin's system.

The 33-year-old Stony Plain, Alta., native, who captured her first Olympic medal by taking bronze in the inaugural women's monobob event in Beijing in February, won't be able to compete or train with teammates during the sanction.

"I am not sure of my future plans at this time," de Bruin wrote in an email statement to CBC Sports. "I will be taking some time to surround myself around family and friends while I process this difficult information."

De Bruin admitted to the violation and waived her right to a hearing in October, when signing an Early Admission and Acceptance Agreement. By doing so, the applicable four-year suspension was reduced by one year.

De Bruin told CBC Sports she signed the agreement due to a lack of funds to appeal the decision.

"I appreciate and respect the need to have tough rules to keep the playing field clean, however, I signed the Early Admission and Acceptance Agreement ... because I simply do not have the financial means to fight it," de Bruin said.

"I have always considered competing for Canada and wearing the Maple Leaf on my suit around the world an absolute privilege, and I would never do anything intentionally to jeopardize this honour."

De Bruin also finished fifth in the two-woman bobsleigh event with partner Kristen Bujnowski in Beijing. She placed seventh in the same event at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

Canadian federation 'deeply disappointed'

In a statement sent to CBC Sports, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton president Sarah Storey said the organization "has zero tolerance for doping" and is "deeply disappointed that one of our athletes was found to have violated anti-doping rules."

"Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton has built a winning program in the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton with clean athletes, however, winning medals is never more important than how the medal is won," Storey said. "We do not tolerate this behaviour and we are going to continue to excel with clean athletes who respect the rules of fair play."

"This is a very important lesson and reminder to all athletes in Canada to be extremely diligent with what they put in their bodies at all times. At the end of the day, the athlete is responsible for knowing what they are putting in their bodies all times. It is the greatest responsibility an athlete at any level has."

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