Physique Canada recently announced its first first doping control infraction – basically, we caught a cheater at one of our contests this summer. The amount of buzz it garnered on social media was astounding, more so than even the victorious comeback story of Nadia Moussa. Our announcement reached thousands more people on FB than anything we’ve ever posted. Most, if not all, comments and shares were positive and supportive of our doping control program.
Amongst the federation’s executive, there was almost relief to finally have our first positive drug test from the lab. It’s almost paradoxical, but we needed to catch a cheater to prove that our sandbox is clean. We needed to show proof that we do indeed have a robust program of anti-doping and that we just don’t claim to be anti-drug but that we prove we are anti-drug. What better way to prove we have a good doping control program than to finally catch a cheater?
Many organizations who claim to be anti-drug do the opposite: they bury the positive tests. This behaviour is not limited to the sport of bodybuilding – UCI comes to mind, and look where it got them: a complete loss of credibility that will take years to repair. Sure you can collect urine specimens, sure you can send those specimens to a lab (or, like us, to a WADA lab, but trust me, that contract is almost impossible to get), but what do you do with the results? Fearing legal reprisals, most bodybuilding orgs do not list the positive drug tests for all to see, as per the WADA Code. If they do, it is many months after the fact, and names of the guilty are redacted.