Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Top CFL prospect tests positive for steroids
May 9, 2014
Top CFL prospect tests positive for steroids

From the department of bad timing, news broke Thursday that one of the CFL’s top-ranked prospects had tested positive for steroids just moments before a league-sponsored conference call about Tuesday’s draft.

Concordia defensive tackle Quinn Smith, who wasn’t among the top 15 prospects in December, had a stellar combine in March and shot up to No. 4 on the final ranking last month. It turns out Smith had Stanozolol, the steroid Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for at the 1988 Summer Olympics, in his system during the combine. Despite that, it doesn’t sound like his draft stock will take too much of a hit. “It’s going to affect him a little bit, but I don’t really think it’s going to take Smith out of the first round,” TSN draft analyst Duane Forde said during the CFL’s conference call with national media. “Based on supply and demand, Quinn Smith remains one of the best prospects in a draft that’s a little bit thin in terms of what you would label as top-end guys.” Also working in Smith’s favour, after a quick survey of scouts and GMs on Thursday, is the fact Smith’s testing numbers from last year’s East-West Bowl were similar to the ones he posted at the combine in Toronto. He improved in five of six categories, but not enough to raise eyebrows at the combine, according to one CFL bird dog. “In some things there’s a natural improvement you would think for a guy who’s been working hard. Other things you may now look at and start to question a little bit,” Forde said. “How his stock is affected is going to depend on how much each team believes that those testing results have been altered by a banned substance.” Smith has asked to have his B sample tested to confirm the results. “It’s very disappointing that this player tested positive for a banned substance,” CFL president and COO Michael Copeland said in a press release. “If he is drafted and signed by one of our teams and the positive test is confirmed, he will immediately be subject to mandatory testing as governed by our drug policy.” Smith said in a release issued through Concordia’s athletics department that he simply didn’t read the ingredients on a supplement he began taking this winter to prepare for the combine. His agent went to bat for his client on Thursday. “It’s unfortunate, but we’ll get through it,” Fred Weinrauch said from Montreal. “I’ve known the kid for a few years. I know him, so I believe it’s exactly what he said. Look at his test numbers at the East West and the (combine). He’s a beast. He dominated there, he dominated the (combine), and hopefully everything will work out well on draft day for him.” UPON FURTHER REVIEW The CFL called Thursday a “historic day in the world of football” because its board of governors approved making pass-interference penalties subject to video review. Coaches will now be able to challenge plays where pass interference is called or not called. The new rule now provides a team with the ability to use any and all of its coach’s challenges to question a called or potential pass-interference penalty up to the final three minutes of a game. In the final three minutes of a game and overtime, a team can only challenge such a call or non-call one time, and only if it still has an unused challenge and a timeout remaining. “We are constantly looking for ways to make our great game even better, and I believe we have done that today with the approval of this rule change,” commissioner Mark Cohon said in a release. “Being progressive and using technology to compliment the excellent work our officials already do on the field is positive for our teams, players and ultimately our fans.” WHO’S NO. 1? Forde said if he were RedBlacks general manager Marcel Desjardins, he wouldn’t necessarily pass on Montreal Carabins offensive lineman David Foucault with the first overall pick, even if an NFL team signs him as an undrafted free agent this weekend. “For Ottawa, as much as this is a team starting off, they can afford to wait a little bit as much as they have a little bit of a need for guys and for Canadian talent,” Forde said. “Obviously when you sign Henry Burris, you’re attempting to be competitive now and not three years down the road. “It depends on what the commitment was to Foucault. On that I would say if he signs you’re going to have to find out what the starting bonus is to know how committed an NFL team is to him. I would probably still take him if he signs.” McGill Redmen offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the undisputed top talent in this year’s draft, but he is expected to go in the NFL draft this weekend. Despite that, Forde thinks Duvernay-Tardif could still be a high pick in the CFL draft. The RedBlacks might not be certain about what to do with the No. 1 pick, as a CFL source said this week they have been sniffing around, talking to teams about potential returns for the top selection. LATE HITS This year’s CFL draft is going prime time. The first round will be shown live on TSN beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night. Rounds two through seven will be streamed online … The Stampeders signed seven players and released five on Thursday. Among those let go were a couple of veteran Canadians: receiver Chris Bauman and fullback Wilkerson DeSouza … The Tiger-Cats acquired running back Isi Sofele from the Lions on Thursday for future considerations … The CFL board of governors approved the other recommended rule changes on Thursday. More blocks will be banned, quarterbacks will be allowed to use their own footballs, centres can bob their heads multiple times for the snap count, and the referee will no longer hold the 20-second clock for defensive substitutions. SMITH’S STATEMENT It is with deep regret that I inform you I have been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) from an out of competition doping control test on March 21 in Toronto. I accept full responsibility for the result of Stanozolol metabolite in my test. I can assure you it was not my intention to use a banned substance or to try to beat the system. I did not properly research the contents of supplements I obtained online and I will accept the consequences of my actions. Since it was inadvertent on my part, I have asked to have my B sample tested and am waiting for the results. I have the deepest respect for the CFL, the CIS and Concordia University and am thankful for the opportunities they offer young people like myself. I have brought undue negative attention to these organizations and for this I am truly sorry. I would like to thank my family and friends for their unwavering support through this difficult time. I will have no further comments to offer publicly. Regards, Quinn Smith