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Bombers DB Johnson suspended for two games for violating drug policy

TORONTO Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive back Bruce Johnson has been suspended for two games effective immediately after testing positive for a banned substance (Methylenedioxyamphetamine), under the drug policy of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the Canadian Football League Players’ Association (CFLPA).

The CFL and CFLPA announced expanded testing for performance enhancing drugs in April, ahead of the 2016 season.

Players who test positive will face a two game suspension for a first doping violation, a nine game suspension for a second violation, a one-year suspension for a third violation, and a lifetime ban for a fourth violation.

“We are disappointed with Bruce and his decision, but I trust no one is more upset in his actions than Bruce himself,” Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters said in a statement. “The Winnipeg Blue Bombers fully support the policy on performance enhancing drugs, and we trust Bruce will learn from his mistake moving forward.”

Under the policy, a suspended player cannot participate in games. It is up to their Club to determine whether that player can participate in other team activities, such as practices and meetings.

In a statement, Johnson said: “I take full responsibility for my decisions and accept the disciplinary action. I apologize to my coaches, teammates, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization and Bomber fans, and will use this as a learning opportunity for myself. I hope to return following my suspension and help our team continue the push toward the playoffs.”

All players will be subject to mandatory drug testing once testing positive and will participate in an assessment and clinical evaluation to determine if they need additional counselling.

The policy mandates a total number of random tests equal to 100% of the players in the CFL.

Random testing is ongoing and is conducted year round.