- Associated Press - Monday, June 14, 2010

WATERLOO, Ontario (AP) — The University of Waterloo suspended its football program for a year Monday because of a steroids scandal called the “most significant” in Canadian university sports history.

The school tested the entire team after Warriors receiver Nathan Zettler was arrested in the spring and charged with possession and trafficking of anabolic steroids.

Nine potential anti-doping infractions were found among the 62 urine samples collected, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport said on Monday. There were four admissions of use, three positive tests and one refused test. A ninth case is pending additional police investigation, the CCES said.

The Warriors posted a 3-5 record last year to finish tied for sixth with Guelph in the 10-team the Ontario University Athletics standings. They didn’t make the playoffs.

“This is the most significant doping issue in CIS history, and we’re taking it very seriously,” Marg McGregor, CEO of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, said in a statement.

“This situation illustrates that the CIS doping control program needs to be strengthened to ensure a level playing field and protect the rights of the vast majority of student-athletes who respect the rules and complete clean.”

Paul Melia, president of the CCES, commended the university for testing the entire team, calling it “bold and decisive action.”

The CCES also conducted some blood tests, but those results are not yet available. Blood tests can detect the presence of substances such as human growth hormone.

“Naturally we’re very disappointed in the results of the tests, but from the beginning Waterloo initiated testing the team in the belief it was the right thing to do,” athletic director Bob Copeland said.

Head coach Dennis McPhee and assistant Marshall Bingeman are being placed on paid leave from football duties while the university conducts a full review.

“This in no way prejudges the coaches. Rather, as a matter of process, it is important that the coaches are not active in the program while the review is conducted,” the school said in a statement.

Players and some family members gathered outside the room where Monday’s news conference was held, venting their frustration.

“The university said they dealt with it in a way that will set an example,” fourth-year wide receiver Dustin Zender said. “Unfortunately, that example ruins some of the lives of our players here. And because of the actions made by some — who weren’t smart — it now affects players who did the right thing.”

First-year linebacker Jordan Meredith tested positive for Tamoxifen, a prohibited substance that is commonly used by athletes as part of a post cycle treatment to combat the side effects of steroids.

Meredith has waived his right to a hearing and acknowledged he committed a doping infraction. He will be suspended for two years.

Joe Surgenor, a second-year linebacker, admitted using a steroid at the time of CCES testing and accepted a two-year ban.

The CCES did not identify all the players in its release and says it is continuing to monitor the investigation.

“The biggest thing I’m upset with is our leadership — our captains — we’ve stayed out of trouble, we tested negative, meaning we’re clean,” Warriors defensive back Patrick McGarry said. “And that’s what you should be judging a program by — not the underskirts of guys who don’t even dress, and who are taking it … it’s just not fair.”


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