In October 2019, David Freake was given a four-year doping ban after he tested positive for EPO and several other banned substances after the Ottawa Marathon. Despite accepting the ruling, Freake posted on social media Thursday to tell the world that he was back, and implied that he’d just received a gear shipment from his (former) sponsor, Brooks, prompting numerous expressions of disbelief and outrage from Canadian runners.
In 2019, @Davefreake received a four-year ban for using performance-enhancing substances, including EPO.
(Article here: https://t.co/nI7ibaom8U)
Today, he took to social media to announce he is racing this spring.
— Alex Cyr (@Cyresy_10) February 28, 2020
Freake won the 2018 Goodlife Toronto Marathon, as well as the half-marathon at the 2019 Maritime Race Weekend in Nova Scotia.
When the initial charges were laid, the St. John’s, N.L., runner told the CBC that he would appeal the decision, claiming that he hadn’t doped, he had only used oral nasal decongestants ahead of the Ottawa Marathon. But no appeal came, and Freake ultimately waived his right to a hearing. Freak’s urine tested positive for recombinant EPO, ephedrine (often found in cold medication) and GW501516, 2,4-dinitrophenol, regularly used as a weight-loss drug.
“My lawyer is on the verge of proving they were wrong and that I’ve never taken a drunk [sic] in my life,” Freake tweeted. In a Facebook post, Freake also said that he recently received gear from Brooks for the upcoming season.
Wait, what!? I thought he got popped for doping? What is going on here? https://t.co/SPlK9yb5Ki
— Rob Watson (@robbiedxc) February 28, 2020
“Shoutout to my Brooks Running fam in Seattle for the fresh 2020 Elite Kit, gear and sneaks,” he wrote. “I’m coming for that fast spring [marathon] in early May!”
Freake received backlash from Twitter’s Canadian running community after making these posts.
“Wait, what!?” Rob Watson tweeted in response to Freake’s tweet. “I thought he got popped for doping?”
Canadian marathon champion Dayna Pidhoresky responded to Watson’s tweet, saying “My sources tell me me this did not come from [Brooks]—another lie.”
A Brooks official said that Freake didn’t receive any gear from the company.
“Brooks believes that a clean sport ensures a level playing field, which is one of the universal aspects of our sport,” the official said. “We stand by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and their decision and terminated our relationship with David when we heard about this in October of 2019 due to a violation of our policies. David is not on our roster and those items were not provided by Brooks.”
Freake deleted both his Facebook and Twitter accounts sometime in the last 24 hours.