Canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe denies knowingly taking forbidden substance
With Matt Grillo
One of Canada's top athletes denies knowingly taking a forbidden substance that resulted in her suspension from competition.
The International Canoe Federation suspended Laurence Vincent Lapointe after she tested positive for Ligandrol -- a drug that increases muscle mass while reducing body fat.
At an emotional news conference in Montreal the athlete from Trois Rivieres was joined by her parents and sports lawyer Adam Klevinas.
"Every day I have moments where I'm just mad, others where I cry and others where I'm in shock just hoping I can wake up from this," said Vincent Lapointe.
She believes one of the supplements she takes, which are given to her by the National Training Centre, may have been contaminated.
"I as an athlete went through what I thought was the most safe, the safest route to get my supplements clean. In this case it might not have worked," she said.
Klevinas said the concentration of the drug in the tests was very low, making the possibility of accidental contamination likely.
"The concentration is so low it indicates it's compatible with contamination because if you would have taken what's called a pharmaceutical dose the day of the test, or even within days, you would have expected really, really high concentrations and this concentration is quite low," said Klevinas.
Vincent Lapointe first tested positive on Aug. 13 and a second sample tested two days later was also positive for Ligandrol.
That means the 11-time world champion will not compete in this week's world championships.
Vincent Lapointe said her record shows that she has been winning on her own and does not need artificial assistance.
"I've had a lot of support from my family, from people in my team, just telling me they are with me," said Vincent Lapointe.
She faces a hearing later this year to determine if the suspension will ban her from competing in next year's summer Olympic Games in Tokyo when her preferred competition, women's sprint canoe, makes its Olympic debut.