Warriors football suspended at Waterloo

Doping violations have led university vice-president and provost Feridun Hamdullahpur to initiate review of the program following suspension.

On Monday the University of Waterloo, the CIS and the CCES announced in Waterloo that of the 62 urine samples, there were nine potential anti-doping rule violations.

The issue came to the surface after Nathan Zettler, 23-year-old defensive back, was charged with possession and the intent to traffic anabolic steroids. Matthew Valeriote, a teammate of Zettler’s, and Eric Legare were also charged in connection with the crimes, the Globe and Mail reported on May 28.

Violations are deemed potential and stay confidential until the athletes either sign a waiver accepting the consequences of their violation or attend a hearing where an arbitrator has upheld the CCES’ decision.

So far, first year linebacker Jordan Meredith and second year linebacker Joe Surgenor are the only team members who have signed waivers. They have both been giving two year suspensions.

Surgenor, a 6-foot 226-pound defence man told the Globe and Mail on May 28 that although he regrets his use, steroids are extremely common on varsity teams.

“To be perfectly honest, anyone who doesn’t think there are seven to 13 players on every team [using performance-enhancing drugs] in the CIS, you’re kidding yourself,” Surgenor said. “There’s at least that number. I don’t think the CIS really wants to find out what’s going on. They don’t want to know the answer [to how many athletes are taking steroids].”

An additional 20 blood samples were collected but test results are not yet ready.

Along with testing the Waterloo roster, players at McMaster, the University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier were to be tested due to the possibility of trafficking. However, the Globe and Mail has reported the testing was minimal. Six players at both Guelph and McMaster were tested while the drug testers went to the wrong location at Laurier.

The Waterloo team, which finished sixth out of 10 provincial teams, has put the coaching staff, including head coach Dennis McPhee, on paid leave as the school conducts a full review of the program.

While the program review is taking place, the CIS schedule is being reshuffled.

Michael Grobe, Communications and Sports Information Officer, said a rescheduling committee was struck yesterday following a conference call with all OUA teams.

“We will know in the next 48 hours,” he said in reference to a new game schedule. “They're trying to honour home games and honour all of the dates we currently have but still revise the schedule.”

The wait is especially tense for Queen’s since the Gaels were previously scheduled open their season against Waterloo on Sept. 6.

Under the OUA's revised schedule the Gaels will now start their regular season in Hamilton against McMaster.

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