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|September 6, 2000||
Canadian hammer-thrower out for drug abuse
A Canadian hammer-thrower was suspended from Canada's Olympic team on Tuesday after she tested positive for an anabolic steroid, a ruling she vowed to fight, calling the test "bogus."
Just days before the Sydney Olympics were set to begin, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport confirmed Robin Lyons, 23, tested positive for the steroid norandrosterone at an Olympic trial meet in Victoria, British Columbia in August.
Lyons, of Edmonton, Alberta, said she has never taken the steroid and planned to protest the ruling.
"They don't have enough backup to support what they're saying. I mean, I have very strong people behind me right now who are behind me 100 percent," she told reporters in Edmonton. "I think this needs to be nationally publicized because this is ridiculous. I'm an athlete who's a victim of this bogus test."
She must win her protest before being allowed back on the team when the games open on September 15.
Steroids in sport has been an extremely touchy subject in Canada, especially since the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, when champion sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for a banned substance.
A top official with Athletics Canada, the umbrella group for Canada's amateur athletes, said on Tuesday the organization supported Lyons, noting that norandrosterone is a naturally occurring substance in the body.
"The body can create naturally occurring substances including this one and it's different for men and women. The women's permissible level is 2-1/2 times that of men, and it can be affected by hormonal cycles and everybody's different," John Thresher, chief executive of Athletics Canada, said. He added Lyons tested positive for just a trace amount over the legal level.
"So she has the absolute right to protest the results of what is technically called a doping infraction."
A review board was slated to hear Lyons' protest "hopefully on a fast-track basis," Thresher said.
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