Canadian sprint canoer Laurence Vincent-Lapointe tests positive for banned substance

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe of Trois-Rivières, Que., will not compete at this week’s canoe sprint world championships in Szeged, Hungary after failing an out-of-competition doping test in late July and has been provisionally suspended, pending the outcome of her case.

The 11-time world champion’s positive result may have been caused by inadvertent and unknowing use of a prohibited substance from such a source, according to a Canoe Kayak Canada news release.

“This feels like a nightmare; I still cannot believe what has happened,” the 27-year-old is quoted as saying in the news release. “I am shocked and completely devastated … because I have done absolutely nothing wrong and have nothing to hide.”

Since learning of her positive test on Aug. 13, Vincent-Lapointe has “done everything possible” to determine the source of the prohibited substance to prove she is a clean athlete.”

“I am a person of integrity and any form of cheating disgusts me,” she said. “I believe in clean sport and it is what I apply as a principle in my life as an athlete. I would never put my name, my reputation, or my career at risk to improve my performances and widen the gap with my opponents.”

On June 1, Vincent-Lapointe won a gold medal in the women’s C1 200-metre event at a World Cup in Duisberg, Germany, for a second consecutive week following a victory in Poznan, Poland.

Vincent-Lapointe, who will address the media Tuesday in Quebec, has won six C1-200 world titles, four C2-500 gold medals, and one C1-5000 championship in women’s canoe sprint, which is set to make its Olympic debut next year in Tokyo.

“We are very disappointed this has happened on the eve of our biggest event of the year,” ICF secretary-general Simon Toulson said.

Canoe Kayak Canada said it “fully supports” Vincent-Lapointe and will pursue all avenues to help the athlete prove her innocence.

“CKC firmly believes in clean sport, but we also have strong reason to believe that Laurence has taken all of the necessary precautions from an anti-doping perspective and that she has not knowingly or intentionally taken a prohibited substance,” said Canoe Kayak Canada CEO Casey Wade.

Canoe Kayak Canada will not make any further comment regarding this case, pending the final outcome of the matter.

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