2009 Manitoba Bisons Football

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Re: 2009 Manitoba Bisons Football

Post by Hollywood2 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:22 am

Bison Sports Athletic Director Coleen Dufresne football eligibility violation statement

November 3rd, 2009 4:00pm

In the fall of 2001, after having spent a year at Bowling Green training with their football program, Julian Hardy attended the University of Ottawa. In the fall of 2001 he met with the Director at the U of Ottawa who confirmed that he had tested positive for unregulated supplements. He had been given the supplements from the football staff at Bowling Green but nonetheless took responsibility for his actions. Within days Julian left the campus and had no further discussions with anyone related to the violation. Julian believed that he had to sit out four years after which he could return to the CIS and have four years of eligibility remaining.

In March of 2003 the CCES formally accepted the new World Anti-Doping Code which necessitated changes to its’ existing policy. The penalty, at the time, for a first year infraction was a four year suspension. Under the new regulation, which came into effect on June 1, 2004 the penalty for a first infraction became two years. In 2004 a motion was passed by the CIS Board of Directors to accept, upon application, a reduction to two years, for the four CIS student athletes currently serving four year suspensions, including Julian Hardy. Unfortunately, no one contacted Julian was never made aware of the new ruling, did not apply for the reduction and continued to sit out and make plans for his return.

Between 2001 and 2007 there was no contact made between anyone in the CIS and Julian related to his positive test. He was not aware that he could have applied to have the term reduced. Had he know he would have pursued it immediately and returned to university two years earlier.

In the summer of 2007, Julian enrolled at University of Manitoba and successfully completed 18 credit hours. He made contact with Bison Football Head Coach Brian Dobie and asked for an opportunity to try out for the Bison football team. Brian introduced him to Bison Assistant Athletic Director Curt Warkentin, and asked him to do an eligibility check. Curt was made aware of Julian’s 2001 doping infraction at this time. Upon review of Julian’s academic and athletic history, and seeing that is was almost six years since the infraction, Julian was ruled as eligible to compete. Julian was not added to the roster until 2008 and then again in 2009.

On Friday, Oct 16, 2009 an Assistant football coach came across an item on a football chat list, which he brought forward to Coach Dobie who in tern brought it to my attention. I reviewed the CIS regulations and immediately self disclosed to the CIS that we had inadvertently played an ineligible player and removed him from the active playing roster. Julian had not applied to have his four year ban reduced to two and as a result had used up his five years of CIS eligibility. The CCES would not consider our request to retroactively apply the reduction of the term, as no members of the management team from 2003-2004 were still members of the current management team. On behalf of Julian the University of Manitoba filed a compassionate appeal to regain his two years of eligibility. The CIS did not support the appeal.

Subsequently, the Canada West ruled that due to playing an ineligible player, the Bison Football team would forfeit any wins with Julian in the lineup.

We are extremely disappointed in the CIS’ decision to not support our compassionate appeal. We believe the decision taken by the eligibility committee is inconsistent with the CIS Board of Director’s direction of 2004. A negative life changing experience for Julian in 2001 could have become a positive one in 2003 with the CCES adoption of the new anti-doping rules and then again in 2004 when the CIS voted to reduce the four year bans (including Julian Hardy’s). The timing of our appeal could have been better. We should have caught this earlier in our eligibility check but we did not. Had we done so we could have saved Julian, the football program and the University this embarrassment.

The football program never knowingly played an ineligible player. There was no attempt to cheat. Julian believed he was eligible, the University believed him to be eligible and when it was discovered that he wasn’t we took the necessary steps to rectify the situation. The addition to the roster in 2008-09 and again this season was not flagged by anyone in the CIS system, not the University of Ottawa, the CIS office nor anyone in Canada West. My disclosure to the CIS came as a result of a comment on a football chat list. We, at no time, ever intended to break a CIS rule. The administrative error made by Bison Sports has led to this unfortunate end to our season. I apologize to all the student athletes, in particular our fifth year athletes, to our Coaches and all supporters of our football program.

Julian is blameless in this scenario and he has already suffered more than he deserved. Accordingly, all questions related to this matter should be directed to me or Coach Dobie and I would appreciate your supporting my request.

Coleen Dufresne
Bison Sports Athletic Director
I am not sure why a retroactive reinstatement could not have been done, but that's the way it goes.
August 8, 1961
The Tiger-Cats are the reigning champions of CFL/NFL football.

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