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CFL makes changes to draft eligibility rules

Johany Jutras/CFL

TORONTO – The Canadian Football League (CFL) and Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA) today announced that they have agreed to changes to the CFL’s draft eligibility rules and are implementing more stringent rules for individuals with anti-doping rule violations hoping to enter the League.

The CFL and the CFLPA both feel it is important to address the issue of players coming into the CFL from university programs and other leagues or sports and the consequences they face for any anti-doping rule violations they may have previously incurred.

“We are taking these important steps today to ensure that there is a level playing field for all athletes entering the CFL,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge, CFL Commissioner. “We are also hopeful that the CFLPA can continue to work with us to establish a new drug testing program for all CFL players that is meaningful and effective.”

“The CFLPA takes the total health and safety of our members very seriously and we are eager to continue progressive discussions,” said Scott Flory, CFLPA President. “A policy to prevent and deter the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs is seen as one of the critical components of the overall health and safety of players.”

The rules set out below come into effect immediately and in advance of the upcoming CFL regional and central Combines, where the CFL provides for drug testing in conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport:

• An individual who incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy in the year of his CFL Draft, or the immediate year prior to his CFL Draft, will have his Draft year deferred for one year.

• An individual who, having gone through the CFL Draft, whether drafted or undrafted, subsequently incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the CADP or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy, would be ineligible to sign a contract with a CFL team for one (1) calendar year after the individual tests positive or incurs an anti-doping rule violation as referenced above.

• An individual who is ineligible for the CFL Draft (i.e. Canadian Junior Football League player or International Canadian Interuniversity Sport, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Football League player or any other athlete from another sport) and who incurs an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the CADP or pursuant to any other drug testing program or who tests positive for a substance banned under the CFL drug policy, would be ineligible to sign a contract with a CFL team for one (1) calendar year after the individual tests positive or incurs an anti-doping rule violation as referenced above.

Regional combines are scheduled for Edmonton on March 7, Montreal on March 9, and Toronto on March 10, with the CFL Combine set for Toronto March 11 to 13. The CFL Canadian Draft is May 10.