Canadian athletes have history with ‘party drugs’

World champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber has been stripped of his 2016 Canadian title after he tested positive for trace amounts of cocaine. According to the ruling from the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, Barber inadvertently ingested the banned substance after kissing a woman he met on Craigslist prior to the Canadian track and field championships earlier this year.

Here’s a quick look at other Canadians who have been involved in controversies with “party drugs” including marijuana and cocaine:


The Vancouver native became the first athlete to capture an Olympic gold medal in men’s snowboarding after winning the giant slalom at the 1998 Nagano Games. It’s an honour he almost didn’t get to keep after he was briefly stripped of his medal due to a positive test for marijuana.

The drug wasn’t on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances at the time, however, and the decision to strip Rebagliati was eventually overturned. Rebagliati maintains traces of the drug entered his system through second-hand smoke.

The scandal briefly catapulted Rebagliati to celebrity status, including an appearance with Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”

Rebagliati now runs his own medical pot company called “Ross’ Gold.”


The Montreal native who now lives in Schomberg, Ont., is one of Canada’s greatest equestrians. He has won three Olympic medals, including individual jumping gold with beloved horse Hickstead at the 2008 Beijing Games.

But Lamaze’s career was almost derailed by cocaine. He tested positive for the drug after making Canada’s jumping team for the 1996 Olympics and was given a four-year suspension. The ban was eventually overturned, but not in time for him to ride in Atlanta.

Before the 2000 Sydney Games, Lamaze tested positive for an outlawed stimulant and facing a lifetime ban. After learning of the test, a despondent Lamaze smoked a cigarette laced with cocaine. While the stimulant ban was reversed on appeal, Lamaze faced another ban for a second positive cocaine test.

An arbitrator overturned the cocaine test, but the Canadian Olympic Committee did not reinstate Lamaze for Sydney.

Lamaze decided not to appeal the COC’s decision and worked on his comeback, eventually becoming one of the world’s top jumpers.


A decorated wheelchair racer and three-time Paralympic champion, Adams was suspended for two years after testing positive for trace amounts of cocaine at the 2006 Canadian wheelchair marathon championships.

Adams appealed the suspension, saying the positive test was the result of contaminated catheter used after an incident when a woman allegedly forced a foreign substance into his mouth at a Toronto nightclub.

The suspension was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which found Adams’ explanation credible and referred to him as a “person of high character.”


While the former Los Angeles Kings centre didn’t fail a drug test, he was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine and ecstasy on April 17, 2015, at the MGM Grand Hotel’s Wet Republic pool complex in Las Vegas.

The native of Melville, Sask., was originally charged with a felony count of cocaine possession, but pled guilty to a pair of lesser misdemeanour charges and was given a sentence of 32 hours of community service.

The incident put the drug’s use in the NHL in the spotlight, with deputy commissioner Bill Daly saying cocaine was a small but growing problem in the league in a 2015 interview with TSN.


The Canadian rugby player was given a four-year suspension in 1998 after tested positive for cocaine.

Ennis argued that he had no idea how the drug entered his system during a birthday party in Vancouver, and his ban was overturned after two months.

Despite the successful appeal, Ennis never again played for the Canadian rugby team.

But things worked out pretty well for the six-foot-four, 250-pound man-mountain, who provided the motion capture for the bear that famously mauled Leonardo DiCaprio in Oscar-winning film “The Revenant.”

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