University of the Fraser Valley Cascades wrestler Jason Bains has received a four-year suspension and had his national silver medal removed for an anti-doping rule violation.
The Surrey native’s urine sample, collected during the U Sports Wrestling Championships on Feb. 21, revealed that he tested positive for an oral steroid known as Turinabol (Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone).
Bains opened the two-day tournament in St. Catharines, Ont. going a perfect 3-0 on day one, but then lost in the men’s 100 kilograms final to earn the silver medal.
In the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) hearing between Bains and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES), he stated that he was made aware of the positive result on March 9. He then admitted to the violation in a timely fashion to determine the length of his suspension, but did not sign a proper “timely admission form”.
A hearing held by teleconference was conducted on Aug. 24 and 28 and Bains denied intentionally ingesting the substance and denied any significant fault or negligence. He asked that the four-year suspension be reduced.
Bains testified that the source of the banned substance was his brother Gurpreet, a weightlifter who lives at their Surrey home with five other family members. Bains stated that his brother was using Turinabol and went into the cupboard and used some of Bains’ protein powder to mix in his Turinabol.
Gurpreet testified that he got the drug from someone at his gym, and that he knew it was a prohibited substance. Gurpreet claimed that he and his brother used the same type of protein powder and ran out. He did not want to buy more and proceeded to mix the drug into his brother’s protein and did not tell him. He said he was well aware that his brother was an athlete and was subject to testing.
Bains alleged that he had only unknowingly ingested the Turinabol two or three days before the test was administered, but a doping expert concluded that the last usage of the substance would have been several weeks before the Feb. 21 test.
Bains admitted that he should have kept his supplements in his room and not close to his brother’s, calling it a “dumb mistake.” He denied any intent and asked for a reduced period of suspension.
The CCES stated that Bains’ and his brother’s evidence was not credible, and he disregarded the risks about doping and said that Bains should have anticipated issues arising if he suspected his brother was using banned substances. The CCES also said that they believe Bains was not being honest on the timing of his taking of the drug, which could mean he was taking it for a longer period of time or that the protein powder was not the true source.
Arbitrator Jonathan Fidler determined that Bains failed to establish a lack of intention and upheld the four-year suspension starting on April 3, 2020.
“Under the circumstances I find that there was a significant risk that the athlete manifestly disregarded,” he said. “As such, the athlete has failed to satisfy the second branch of the test for him to be successful in proving that his actions were not intentional.”
Steve Tuckwood, UFV’s director of athletics and campus recreation said it’s an unfortunate turn of events but that they respect the decision.
“We’re disappointed but we understand the CCES has a role and we respect the decision it has come up with,” he said. “It’s always disappointing when one of our student athletes test positive for a banned substance, but again we abide by the ruling and respect the work that has been done with this case.”
Tuckwood added that UFV has an extensive education program for all its student athletes, which includes a student handbook that contains information related to anti-doping and the types of testing that athletes must go through. He also said that every year at the school’s student athlete orientation information related to CCES, anti-doping and U Sports policies is discussed. In 2019 the school brought in a representative to speak more about testing, how to remain clean, decisions on what supplements to take and more.
He also mentioned that every U Sports athlete has to complete an online seminar and answer questions at the end of it before they can compete. That seminar is done prior to every year.
“We have almost 200 athletes and it’s obviously disappointing when you learn that one of them has tested positive but I think we do our best to educate and that is our focus,” he said.