UOIT shows history of clean record in CIS drug testing

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology has never had an athlete test positive on drug tests and are following the standards set by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

The CIS is in charge of drug testing in accordance with the Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sports (CCES) and are also responsible for the management of the near 11,000 student-athletes in universities across Canada.

For the CIS and CCES to conduct drug tests they need to make sure they can afford it. The CIS has come to an agreement with Canadian universities to help fund testing. Funding for these tests comes out of the universities pockets at a minimum of $1,000 for schools under the CIS. Universities that have football programs must contribute approximately $5,000 in order for the proper amount of drug testing to occur.

Acting Chief Operating Officer of the CIS, Drew Love, explains they are doing the best they can in combatting the use of steroids and other banned substances by completing, not only random drug tests, but targeted drug tests as well.

“The CIS and the CCES have shown interest in conducting more tests but the resources need to be there,” says Love.

If there was a test done on an athlete and there were spikes in the results where the athlete may have taken a banned substance, that player would be tested again and the team he belongs to would also have their other athletes tested, Love says.

“If you isolate it down to a particular group of student athletes which may follow one or two sports, it’s not anymore unusual then testing on several sports on a national level,” says Love.

A simple urine test can run the CIS approximately $450 per test. This is why the CIS and CCES came to an agreement amongst Canadian universities that they contribute money to a drug test fund.

CIS has had their drug testing policies called into question in the past. A University of Toronto Dean called the CIS “a wild west”, meaning the policies are not strong enough and there is not enough testing.

UOIT’s varsity athletes must complete various required education seminars. If students do not complete these seminars they will be held out of competition until they are complete, says head athletic therapist for UOIT, Jessica Salt.

Scott Barker, Manager of Sports and Recreation at UOIT, does not necessarily agree with the “wild west” claim. “There needs to be more done on the education side, making sure student-athletes are aware of the dangers of using steroids and other banned substances,” says Love.

Student-athletes can come into contact with banned substances whether it is by way of over the counter medicine or finding a way to get their hands on illegal steroids, looking to give themselves an unfair advantage on the playing field.

Barker says the CIS needs to be more diligent in educating their student-athletes on use of banned substances. However, Barker says UOIT has never had a drug test come back positive for any banned substances, and they make sure they take the proper steps in educating their own athletes.