The one month suspension handed out to Canadian Olympian Alec Page after a doping violation at the 2014 Canadian national championship meet was relatively minor; the totality of the punishment, however, was not.
Page will be removed from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Pan Pac Championships rosters, Swimming Canada said in a statement on Monday afternoon. This is the result of testing positive for Probenecid on April 5th: a banned masking agent (read more here).
“Swimming Canada respects the decision of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport to suspend national team athlete Alec Page for one month due to an anti-doping rule violation,” the statement reads.
Page agreed to accept a one month ban, but as part of that ban he was also stripped of his results from the 2014 National Championship meet. According to the statement: “Because Page voluntarily agreed to the suspension, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code automatically disqualified his results, therefore Page must be removed from the national team for both events.”
According to Swimming Canada, the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports, which administers doping violations in Canada, “found Page’s degree of fault for the violation low,” resulting in the limited suspension length.
“Anti-doping regulations are in place to ensure a level playing field for all athletes and we are committed to the enforcement and support of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP),” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “At the same time, it’s clear Alec did not intend to cheat and that the presence of trace amounts of this substance was inadvertent. A reduced ban was appropriate in this case and allows Alec to continue pursuing his career as one of Canada’s most talented young swimmers. He is a young man of outstanding character and we look forward to him representing Canada again in the future.”
Page’s specialties are the 200 fly and 400 IM, and he would have likely been a part of Canada’s 800 free relay as well.
“I’m very disappointed I will not be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships this summer. I understand that there is a consequence associated with the risk of taking supplements. Even after consulting national experts and following the right guidelines, things like this can still happen,” Page said. “Needless to say this has been a difficult time but I am glad this predicament is over now and I can move on to focus on my upcoming races this summer. I love representing Canada and will continue to push forward and keep my focus on the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”