"I'm extremely proud to present Taylor's Award to Bob Copeland. As a result of Bob's leadership, and that of the University of Waterloo, the performance enhancing drug problem in university sports is now being addressed in a much bigger way across Canada," said Don Hooton, President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. "It is my hope that the changes that are being implemented in Canada will find their way into university sports in the US and many other countries," he added.
Last year, one of the players on the Waterloo football team was arrested and found to be in possession of a significant quantity of steroids. Sensing that the problem might be larger than just this individual player, Bob and his staff worked with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport to have an unannounced test of the entire football team, within days of the arrest. When the test results came in, and to everyone's surprise, a significant number of the University's football players were found to be using banned substances. The findings were deemed to be so serious that the University ordered an independent review and suspended the football program from competing for a period of one year which drew international headlines.
"In today's world of university athletics, most leaders are prone to jump into a defensive mode by taking steps to protect their athletic programs from criticism at all costs, even if it puts the lives and health of their athletes at risk. Instead, Bob and senior administrators at the University of Waterloo showed courage and transparency by recognizing that this APEDs problem might not be confined to a single player. Bob has shown tremendous leadership in addressing this issue within university sport in Canada including key roles as a member of a National Task Force as well as his role as Chair of the OUA Performance Enhancing Drugs Education Task Force; on his own campus, several promising new initiatives have been developed to better address policy, education, and testing regarding APEDs."
"As a result of Bob's advocacy and the support of his university's senior administration, the way this problem is being handled across Canada is changing in some very, very positive ways," Hooton said. "Improved education programs are being implemented for both athletes and coaching staffs, and much more thorough testing regimens are being implemented to monitor this drug usage," he added.