The Canadian Football League and the CFL Players Association are taking a positive step forward on agreeing to a new standard regarding draft eligibility rules for any individuals who may have incurred previous anti doping rule violations. And these changes take place in time for the 2016 CFL Draft on Tuesday, May 10th.
At the heart of the new policy is the issue of players coming into the league from a variety of university programs, as well as other football leagues or sports, and facing a more stringent set of guidelines. Still needed is a drug testing program that includes veteran players.
“We are taking these important steps today to ensure that there is a level playing field for all athletes entering the CFL,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge, CFL Commissioner. “We are also hopeful that the CFLPA can continue to work with us to establish a new drug testing program for all CFL players that is meaningful and effective.”
“The CFLPA takes the total health and safety of our members very seriously and we are eager to continue progressive discussions,” said Scott Flory, CFLPA President. “A policy to prevent and deter the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs is seen as one of the critical components of the overall health and safety of players.”
The rules set out below come into effect immediately and in advance of the upcoming CFL regional and national Combines, where the CFL provides for drug testing in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport:
· An individual who incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy in the year of his CFL Draft, or the immediate year prior to his CFL Draft, will have his Draft year deferred for one year.
· An individual who, having gone through the CFL Draft, whether drafted or undrafted, subsequently incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the CADP or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy, would be ineligible to sign a contract with a CFL team for one (1) calendar year after the individual tests positive or incurs an anti-doping rule violation as referenced above.
· An individual who is ineligible for the CFL Draft (i.e. Canadian Junior Football League player or International Canadian Interuniversity Sport, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Football League player or any other athlete from another sport) and who incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the CADP or pursuant to any other drug testing program or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy, would be ineligible to sign a contract with a CFL team for one (1) calendar year after the individual tests positive or incurs an anti-doping rule violation as referenced above.
Regional combines are scheduled for Edmonton on Monday, March 7. Montreal on Wednesday, March 9. And Toronto on Thursday, March 10th. The CFL Combine is set for Toronto Friday, March 11th through Sunday, March 13th.