Doping is a well-known and talked about issue in professional sports but it's not every day that you hear it about a Canadian athlete. A young Canadian athlete and Olympic hopeful is facing accusations of doping. Laurence Vincent-Lapointe's doping suspension puts her future Olympic dreams and her career at risk.
Vincent-Lapointe was suspended Monday after she tested positive for a banned substance on August 13. Another sample was opened and tested on August 15. It also tested positive.
Ligandrol, the substance Vincent-Lapointe tested positive for, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. The drug works in a similar way to testosterone and can be used to treat tired muscles. According to the CBC, the drug can be detected in urine for up to 21 days after taking it.
However, Vincent-Lapointe is denying ever taking the substance. "I have no idea how it got there. We're working to find it. I just cannot believe it. It's been a nightmare. This week has been mad," said Vincent Lapointe in a press conference today.
The 27-year-old is a sprint canoer from Quebec and is an 11-time world champion in the sport. Only a few months ago Vincent-Lapointe won gold and silver medals at a world cup in Germany. She had hoped to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I would never put my name, my reputation, or my career at risk to improve my performances and widen the gap with my opponents," said Vincent-Lapointe.
Her lawyer agrees and they both believe that the doping was accidental.
"We're confident that it isn't an intentional ingestion," said Adam Klevinas, Vincent-Lapointe's lawyer. "We're looking at every possibility [and] of course her supplements."
"I've been winning for almost 10 years now," said Vincent-Lapointe. "I know I can beat all of these women with my own strength."
To make matters worse for the Olympic hopeful, Women's canoe sprit was just added to the Olympic lineup and is due to make its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.