Canada’s largest track and field meet was planning on having disgraced sprinter Cheryl Thibedeau had out medals to winners at its provincial championships this weekend.
The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Track and Field Championships, held this year in Belleville, Ont., began on Thursday, and Thibedeau, a seven-time OFSAA medallist, was initially invited to present medals to high school students.
Thibedeau, a sprinter in the 1980s and early 90s, was suspended twice for steroid use. In the lead up to the 1988 Olympics, she was training under coach Charlie Francis, who was at the centre of Ben Johnson’s doping scandal. Thibedeau admitted in the Dubin inquiry in 1989 that she’d used PEDs. She received a two-year ban at the time.
In 1992, Thibedeau tested positive for anabolic steroids and was given a lifetime ban by Athletics Canada.
After Leslie Sexton, one of Canada’s top current marathoners, called out OFSAA on Twitter, it appears that the organization will no longer have Thibedeau present medals.
WTF? Convicted doper Cheryl Thibedeau (sprinter from Charlie Francis’ group) will be presenting medals at @OFSAATrack this year.
— Leslie Sexton (@LeslieSexton) May 31, 2017
You are right, that would not be appropriate. She is NOT presenting. Thank you! https://t.co/LUukpCfHRN
— OFSAA Track & Field (@OFSAATrack) May 31, 2017
This wouldn’t have been the first time she’s presented hardware at the OFSAA championship. She was a presenter at the 2015 edition, along with another admitted doper connected to Francis and Johnson, Tony Sharpe. He was reinstated in 2012. Thibedeau now coaches high school track athletes in Burlington, Ont.