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Speed River athlete given two-year suspension for anti-doping violation

Graeme Thompson, a 400m runner, was given a two-year suspension on Tuesday

Joseph Balko

Graeme Thompson, a member of the Speed River Track and Field Club and former Guelph Gryphon, was given a two-year suspension on Tuesday for presence of clenbuterol, a prohibited anabolic agent, and tamoxifen, a prohibited hormone and metabolic modulator in a July 2019 test.

Thompson’s positive sample would have been given at the 2019 national championships in Montreal, where he finished fourth in the 400m final. He went on to join Team Canada at the 2019 world championships as an alternate on the 4 x 400m relay team. He continued to race until January 2020, but hasn’t recorded any results since.

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Thompson was a member of the 2018-2019 Gryphons team that won the U Sports men’s national title. He was ranked third nationally in the 400m at the end of the 2019 season.

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Clenbuterol is often used to treat asthma and is found in certain inhalers. Tamoxifen, on the other hand, is most commonly used to treat breast cancer as an estrogen blocker. While anti-estrogens don’t really enhance performance, they’re banned by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) because the drug can be used to alleviate symptoms of other performance enhancing drugs, like testosterone.

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The standard sanction for the presence of the mentioned substances is a four-year ban. However, according to the CCES, based on information provided by the athlete, the violation was deemed unintentional and therefore a two-year sanction was proposed. Thompson waived his right to a hearing and accepted the sanction, which terminates on October 9, 2021.