Tag Archives: Banned

Referee banned from working NHL games after being caught on live mic wanting to call penalty on Predators

Referee Tim Peel has been banned from officiating future NHL games after he was caught saying he wanted to call a penalty against the Nashville Predators during a game on Tuesday.

Peel was wearing a microphone for the Detroit-Nashville game Tuesday night and was heard making the comment over the TV broadcast.

“It wasn’t much, but I wanted to get a [expletive] penalty against Nashville early in the,” Peel was heard saying before his microphone was cut off after Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was called for a tripping penalty at 4:56 of the second period.

Peel worked the game with referee Kelly Sutherland. The Predators were called for four penalties and the Red Wings three in Nashville’s 2-0 win.

WARNING: Clip contains profane language

“Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game,” Colin Campbell, the league’s senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, said in a statement issued by the NHL Wednesday. 

“Tim Peel’s conduct is in direct contradiction to the adherence to that cornerstone principle that we demand of our officials and that our fans, players, coaches and all those associated with our game expect and deserve,” he said in the statement. “There is no justification for his comments, no matter the context or his intention, and the National Hockey League will take any and all steps necessary to protect the integrity our game.”

The NHL’s statement was unclear on whether Peel had been fired, but TSN reported Wednesday he planned to retire following this season.

NHL players weigh in

Nashville’s Matt Duchene on a local radio appearance Wednesday wondered aloud what would have happened if Detroit scored on the power play, won the game and the Predators missed the playoffs by a point.

“The crazy part is he was talking to [teammate Filip] Forsberg in that clip, and he told our bench that,” Duchene said. “Really bizarre. I don’t think there’s a place in hockey for that.

“You’ve got to call the game. I’ve always been frustrated when I’ve seen even-up calls or stuff like that. If one team is earning power plays, you can’t punish them because the other team is not.”

Even-up — or make-up — calls are when referees will penalize one team to compensate for what they perceive to be an incorrect penalty imposed on the opposing team. 

Duchene and other players around the league cast doubt on “make-up calls” being a regular part of hockey, though he acknowledged “there’s definitely nights where you’re skeptical of it.”

“Some of the good refs definitely have a feel for the game and they know the ebbs and flows, and they know to try to keep the game as even as possible unless the play dictates otherwise,” New York Rangers forward Ryan Strome said. “But as players, all you can ask for is that they try to call it as fair as possible.”

‘The league had to do what they had to do’

Washington centre Nicklas Backstrom, a 14-year veteran, said the incident was a first for him.

“I’ve never heard anything like that,” Backstrom said. “I think it’s maybe unfortunate that it happened and came out that way. But at the same time, the league had to do what they had to do.”

Predators coach John Hynes said it probably doesn’t matter how he feels about what the official said.

“But the referees are employees of the league and rather than me comment on it, it’s an issue that I think the league will have to take care of,” Hynes said.

Most players and coaches expressed respect for on-ice officials and lamented how difficult their jobs are in keeping track of the fast-paced game. Buffalo interim coach Don Granato said he has “full faith” in the people who work for the NHL.

“[Peel] made a mistake, but unfortunately you don’t want make-up calls to be part of the game,” Edmonton’s Adam Larsson said. “I don’t think it’s right. I think if it’s an obvious one I don’t think it should be made up for.”

Peel, 54, from Hampton, N.B., has been an NHL referee since 1999.

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CBC | Sports News

Fans from outside Japan banned from attending Tokyo Olympics

Spectators from abroad will be barred from the Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months, the IOC and local organizers said Saturday.

The decision was announced after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.

The move was expected and rumoured for several months. Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic, an idea strongly opposed by the Japanese public. Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.

About 1 million tickets are reported to have been sold to fans from outside Japan. Organizers have promised refunds, but this will be determined by so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers that handle sales outside Japan. These dealers charge fees of up to 20 per cent above the ticket price. It is not clear if the fees will be refunded.

WATCH | How the pandemic changes sports overnight:

In the blink of an eye, everything in the sports world changed, culminating in the mayhem that ensued on March 11, 2020. 5:14

“We could wait until the very last moment to decide, except for the spectators,” said Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee. “They have to secure accommodations and flights. So we have to decide early otherwise we will cause a lot of inconvenience from them. I know this is a very tough issue.”

IOC President Thomas Bach called it a “difficult decision.”

“We have to take decisions that may need sacrifice from everybody,” he said.

The financial burden of lost ticket sales falls on Japan. The local organizing committee budget called from $ 800 million income from ticket sales, the third largest income source in the privately finance budget. Any shortfall in the budget will have to be made up by Japanese government entities.

Overall, Japan is officially spending $ 15.4 billion US to organize the Olympics. Several government audits say the actual cost may be twice that much. All but $ 6.7 billion is public money.

About 4.45 million tickets were sold to Japan residents. Organizers are expected next month to announce the capacity at venues, which will be filled by local residents.

The ban on fans from abroad comes just days before the Olympic torch relay starts Thursday from Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan. It will last for 121 days, crisscross Japan with 10,000 runners, and is to end on July 23 at the opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

The relay will be a test for the Olympics and Paralympics, which will involve 15,400 athletes entering Japan. They will be tested before leaving home, tested upon arrival in Japan, and tested frequently while they reside in a secure “bubble” in the Athletes Village alongside Tokyo Bay.

Athletes will not be required to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but many will be.

In the midst of Saturday’s meeting, Bach and others were given a reminder about earthquake-prone northeastern Japan — and Japan in general.

A strong earthquake shook Tokyo and triggered a tsunami warning as Bach and others made introductory remarks before the virtual meeting. The strength was put a 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey and the location was in northeastern Japan, an area hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

“I think the screen is shaking. Have you noticed the screen is shaking,” Tamayo Marukawa, Japan’s Olympic minister, said as she made her presentation from Tokyo talking remotely to Bach visible on a screen in Switzerland. “We’re actually in the midst of an earthquake right now.”

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CBC | World News

Banned for life by FIFA, former soccer officials line up to appeal

The first of a number of appeals by former soccer officials banned for life by FIFA was heard Tuesday at sport’s highest court.

FIFA said Ariel Alvarado — a former member of its ethics committee — challenged its verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Alvarado is one of at least 29 officials banned for life by soccer’s governing body in the last five years.

The Panamanian’s case kicked off a monthly series of upcoming appeals at CAS brought by Latin American soccer officials removed from soccer after being indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on various charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy.

The sports court has scheduled an appeal in August by disgraced former Brazil soccer boss Ricardo Teixeira, who has questioned if the U.S. federal evidence is accurate.

Next up in September is Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay who was convicted at a 2017 trial in Brooklyn. The conviction was upheld on appeal last month.

Another Brazilian, Marco Polo del Nero, is expected to have an October date with CAS, and an appeal is pending for Manuel Burga who was banned by almost two years after the Peruvian was acquitted by the same jury which convicted Napout.

CAS said Tuesday that Alvarado’s hearing was conducted by video link from the court in Lausanne, Switzerland — a process made routine by travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, other remote hearings are likely simply because the appellants — such as Teixeira and Del Nero — risk arrest in Switzerland since their indictments were unsealed by the Justice Department in December 2015.

Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 in the aftermath of early morning raids at luxury hotels in the city to arrest top soccer officials attending FIFA meetings and a presidential election.

Arrests revealed sprawling corruption, bribery

Those arrests revealed the sprawling — and ongoing — American and Swiss investigations of bribery and corruption worth tens of millions of dollars linked to marketing deals and hosting votes for the World Cup and other international competitions.

The American case developed over years from early targeting of Chuck Blazer, the most senior elected American at FIFA for more than a decade who became a co-operating witness.

Blazer’s life ban, imposed by FIFA on July 9, 2015, was the first of around 30 so far arising from the Justice Department evidence. Blazer was seriously ill at the time and died in 2017.

Alvarado was found guilty last year by FIFA, relying on American evidence, of getting at least $ 230,000 US in bribes linked to commercial contracts World Cup qualifying games and the CONCACAF Gold Cup from 2009 to 2011. At the same time, he sat in judgment of other soccer officials summoned before the FIFA ethics panel.

At his own FIFA ethics hearing, Alvarado argued he was a victim of double jeopardy because the North American governing body, CONCACAF, has previously banned him from soccer in the region.

Teixeira, however, disputed the U.S. evidence in a wider federal investigation that has seen guilty pleas, convictions and indictments from dozens of soccer and marketing officials.

The FIFA allegations against Teixieira, his lawyers argued last year, “are no more than assumptions made by U.S. attorneys, without any evidence to support the indictment.”

Teixieira, like many others, was also fined 1 million Swiss francs ($ 1.06 million US) by FIFA ethics judges.

The first verdicts from CAS judges are likely late this year and should continue into 2021.

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CBC | Soccer News

Canoe star Laurence Vincent Lapointe found not guilty of taking banned substance

An International Canoe Federation anti-doping panel ruled Monday that Canadian athlete Laurence Vincent Lapointe did not knowingly ingest an illegal substance and has cleared her to return to training and competition.

The 2020 Olympic hopeful was found to have trace amounts of Ligandrol in her system after failing an out-of-competition doping test last July. Ligandrol is used to treat conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis and is considered to have effects similar to anabolic steroids.

Vincent Lapointe, 27, said she is now ready to gear up for the Summer Games in Tokyo that begins in July.

“You can’t even imagine how relieved I am,” she told reporters at a news conference in her hometown of Trois-Rivières, Que. “It feels good to put an end to this journey and just be able to concentrate on what I love, and get back on the water to prepare for the [Olympic] Games.

“It’s amazing. I’m ready. I’m aiming for the Games.”

Vincent Lapointe’s lawyer, Adam Klevinas, added the World Anti-Doping Agency and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport have the right to appeal the decision. They have 15 days to request the full decision.

He and Vincent Lapointe are also scheduled to speak to media in Montreal at 1:30 p.m. ET.

In a news release, the ICF said it has “accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination.”

Vincent Lapointe told Radio-Canada recently that the trace amounts could have come from bodily fluids exchanged with her former boyfriend.

Radio-Canada learned recently that the 11-time world champion and Klevinas told the ICF as much in December when she went before the anti-doping panel in Lausanne.

Additional tests ‘returned negative’

Since Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended on Aug. 19, Klevinas and other members of her team pored over the test results and analysis. Klevinas then turned to a lab in Strasbourg, France, Radio-Canada reported, where it was discovered through hair analysis that the canoeist’s former boyfriend had consumed a product containing a significant amount of Ligandrol.

Subsequent examination by Vincent Lapointe’s team confirmed the trace amounts in her body could be related to her then-boyfriend.

“[Vincent Lapointe’s] result returned negative,” Klevinas said, “which meant that she had only been exposed to the product once.”

The former boyfriend later admitted to also using another substance, SR9011, which he had hidden. A large amount of this prohibited substance, Radio-Canada learned, was found in the SR9011 sample during analysis.

“Finally,” Klevinas told Radio-Canada, “he admitted to me that he had taken it the evening of July 25 before a soccer practice. And Laurence was tested on the morning of the 29th.”

“We are thrilled that Laurence was cleared of any wrongdoing and can return to training with the team in Florida,” Canoe Kayak Canada chief executive offier Casey Wade said in a statement Monday.

“This has been a very difficult period for Laurence, her partner Katie Vincent and the entire team of paddlers who have demonstrated such strength and tenacity over the last five months. We look forward to building our momentum as a team to podium success in Tokyo [this summer].”

‘I believe in clean sport’

A suspended Vincent Lapointe was forced to miss the canoe sprint world championships in Szeged, Hungary, in August that doubled as a Tokyo Olympic selection event.

At the time, the “shocked and devasted” canoeist vehemently denied voluntarily consuming Ligandrol and revealed she had “done everything possible” to determine the source of the prohibited substance to prove she is a clean athlete.”

WATCH | Vincent Lapointe: ‘It’s been a nightmare’:

For the second-straight week, the 27-year-old from Trois-Rivières, Que. raced to gold in the women’s C1 200-metre event, with fellow Canadian Katie Vincent finishing second at the ICF Sprint Canoe World Cup event in Duisburg, Germany. 2:28

“I am a person of integrity and any form of cheating disgusts me,” Vincent Lapointe told reporters at the time, adding she receives her products from the National Team Training Centre. “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, 2019, 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.

WATCH | Laurence Vincent Lapointe wins women’s C1 200 in Germany:

Laurence Vincent Lapointe describes her emotions after hearing she was tested positive for Ligandrol, says she knows she can win without taking banned substances. 2:19

She has won six C1-200 world titles, four C2-500 gold medals and one C1-5000 championship in women’s canoe sprint, which will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Vincent Lapointe’s Olympic dream began as an eight-year-old watching synchronized swimming from the 2000 Sydney Summer Games on television before she switched to canoe years later.

Gracenote, an international data firm, has predicted Vincent Lapointe will win two Olympic gold medals this year.

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CBC | Sports News

Vincent Lapointe says traces of banned substance could have come from bodily fluids

One of Canada’s top 2020 Olympic medal contenders is expected to find out a decision on a doping case affecting her status for Tokyo on Monday.

Laurence Vincent Lapointe, one of Canada’s top 2020 Olympic medal hopefuls, is expected to received a decision on her doping case, which will impact her status for Tokyo, on Monday. (Paulo novais/EPA-EFE)
Laurence Vincent Lapointe, one of Canada’s top Olympic medal contenders, says that the trace amounts of a banned substance found in her system could have come from bodily fluids exchanged with her former boyfriend.

Radio-Canada has learned that the star canoeist and her lawyer, Adam Klevinas, presented this information when she went before ICF’s Doping Control Panel in Lausanne, Switzerland, in December.

The 27-year-old was provisionally suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency for having trace amounts of the banned substance Ligandrol in an out-of-competition doping test conducted in July.

Ligandrol, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances, is used to treat conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis and is considered to have effects similar to anabolic steroids.

Verdict expected Monday

The native of Trois-Rivieres, Que., is expecting to receive a verdict on her case on Monday.

If found guilty, the 11-time world champion could miss the Tokyo Games.

In a press conference in August, Vincent Lapointe vehemently denied voluntarily consuming the prohibited substance.

“I [want] people to remember: I didn’t do it. But on the other hand, it was in my system and, at that time, I didn’t know how it ended up there.”

In search of answers, Klevinas turned to a lab in Strasbourg, France, where, through a hair analysis, it was discovered that Vincent Lapointe’s former boyfriend had consumed a product containing a significant amount of Ligandrol.

Subsequent tests by Vincent Lapionte’s team confirmed that the trace amounts in her body could have come from a transmission of bodily fluids between her and her then boyfriend.

“[Vincent Lapointe’s] result returned negative,” says Klevinas, “which meant that she had only been exposed to the product once. It was the first step to demonstrate that she was innocent.”

Before arriving at this conclusion, Vincent Lapointe’s team said that they revised the tests and analysis over several months.

They began by submitting her supplements as well as an amino acid used by her former partner for analysis in a laboratory approved by WADA. And according to her team, none of the products had been contaminated with Ligandrol.

Vincent Lapointe even took a polygraph test, which her team also told Radio-Canada that she passed.

We had a lead; now we had to ask questions.– Vincent Lapointe’s lawyer

That’s when they decided to send a sample of her boyfriend’s hair to the laboratory.

A little less than two weeks later, the mystery was almost solved. According to Klevinas, the analysis revealed the presence of Ligandrol in her former boyfriend’s body between the months of April and October 2019.

“There was a peak just when [Vincent Lapointe] was checked,” said Klevinas. “We had a lead; now we had to ask questions.”

That’s when Vincent Lapointe’s ex-partner finally admitted that he was also using another substance, SR9011, which he had hidden. Although Ligandrol does not appear anywhere on the ingredient list of the bottle, a large amount of this prohibited substance was found in the SR9011 sample during its analysis.

“Finally, he admitted to me that he had taken it the evening of July 25, before a soccer practice. And Laurence was tested on the morning of the 29th,” Klevinas says.

According to Klevinas, the young man panicked when he saw the magnitude of the situation and all the media attention around Vincent Lapointe. That’s why he didn’t mention taking SR9011 before being asked about the presence of Ligandrol in the results of his hair tests, several weeks later.
Vincent Lapointe is a gold-medal contender having won a combined 11 world titles in C-1 and C-2 in her career.

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CBC | Sports News

Cancer survivors face dilemma over banned breast implants linked to rare lymphoma

Dona Murphy was finally feeling relieved. Eight years after being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a mastectomy, her oncologist declared her cancer-free.

Then in November, she received a couriered letter from the hospital where she had her surgery, delivering some shocking news: The breast implant used during her reconstruction was now banned by Health Canada.

Last May, Health Canada pulled a type of textured breast implant off the market, following a joint investigation by CBC News, Radio-Canada, the Toronto Star and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The product — specifically macro-textured Biocell implants, made by Allergan — has been linked to a rare form of lymphoma known as breast-implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.

Health Canada says it’s a “serious but rare type of lymphoma,” with the agency pegging the risk of BIA-ALCL at one in 3,565 (0.03%) for the Biocell implants. In Canada, more than 30 women have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.

Dona Murphy reads a letter from the hospital where she underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer; it informed her that the implant used in the surgery has since been banned by Health Canada. (CBC)

Regulators in both Canada and the U.S. don’t recommend that women with the implants have them removed because the cancer is so rare. But they say women should check with their doctor if they have any symptoms, which include pain and swelling.

Paying for peace of mind?

While Murphy has no symptoms from her textured implant, she wants the device removed from her body. But the Ontario government has said that if the implant doesn’t affect her health, it’s up to her to pay to have it taken out.

“I can’t imagine why any woman would want to have it in them if there’s a potential — no matter how small — of causing cancer,” she said.

Patricia Mailman has two textured implants, put in after undergoing a double mastectomy in Halifax as part of her cancer treatment. When she found out about the ban, she too immediately wanted her implants replaced with non-textured ones.

She doesn’t have $ 10,000 needed to pay a plastic surgeon to have the explant done, she said, so she’s on a waiting list to have the Nova Scotia government pay, because the implants are causing her pain.

“We didn’t ask for the cancer in the first place, so we didn’t really ask for this either,” Mailman said.

Patricia Mailman had textured implants put in years ago after a double mastectomy. (CBC)

Textured breast implants were used in thousands of procedures in Canada beginning in 2006, with the pebble-like surface intended to act as a kind of Velcro, preventing the implant from sliding on the chest well.

The medical community started linking some breast implants to cancer in 2011.

BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer, but rather lymphoma that grows in the scar tissue surrounding the breast. It grows slowly and can usually be successfully treated by surgically removing the implants.

Risks involved with removal

Dr. Michael Weinberg, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, estimates he’s implanted about 100 pairs of textured implants. Now because of the ban, he says some of his former patients are scared, worried and asking for his advice.

“They are very emotional and I completely understand how they feel really badly,” he said.

Weinberg cautions that removing implants is a significant operation, both in terms of medical risks, as well as cosmetically.

The risks of implant removal include:

  • Infection.
  • Bleeding.
  • Scarring.

“You can’t guarantee when the implant is under the muscle that you’ll be able to take the whole capsule out,” said Weinberg, or the surrounding scar tissue that can stick to the ribs.

Still, for some women, the thought of possibly developing cancer is a worse risk.

Murphy is scheduled to have her implant removed in March, paying for it out of her own pocket. But, she points out, that’s something a lot of women can’t afford to do.

Cancer survivors are faced with difficult decisions months after textured implants were banned because of a rare cancer risk. The women must decide if the risks and costs of having implants removed outweigh the risk of leaving them in. 2:19

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CBC | Health News

Canadian sprint canoeist 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 substance found in Vincent Lapointe’s sample has been the subject of recent established tainted supplement cases, according to Canoe Kayak Canada, which stated preliminary information supports that her positive test result may have been caused by inadvertent and unknowing use of a prohibited substance from such a source.

“This feels like a nightmare; I still cannot believe what has happened,” the 11-time world champion 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, the 27-year-old 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.”

We have strong reason to believe that Laurence … has not knowingly or intentionally taken a prohibited substance.— Canoe Kayak Canada CEO Casey Wade on Laurence Vincent-Lapointe

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.

WATCH | Laurence Vincent Lapointe wins women’s C1 200 in Germany:

For the second-straight week, the 27-year-old from Trois-Rivières, Que. raced to gold in the women’s C1 200-metre event, with fellow Canadian Katie Vincent finishing second at the ICF Sprint Canoe World Cup event in Duisburg, Germany. 2:28

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.

Vincent Lapointe’s Olympic dream began as an eight-year-old watching synchronized swimming from the 2000 Sydney Summer Games on TV before she switched to canoe years later.

She served notice on the international scene in 2010 by winning a pair of gold medals in the C-1 200m and C-2 500m at the world championships in Poland.

WATCH | Vincent Lapointe ‘amazed’ by her success:

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe reflects on her career and her big win in the the women’s C1 200-metre event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland. 1:44

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 said it would not make further comment regarding the case, pending the final outcome of the matter.

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CBC | Sports News

Real-Life Lobbyist Banned From Eve Online for In-Game Political Corruption

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Eve Online is a deviously complex space simulator that is sometimes jokingly called “spreadsheets in space.” The level of gameplay detail and extensive economy have fueled some bizarre events like in-game Ponzi schemes and space station thefts. Today, the world of Eve Online has leaked out into the real world in an unexpected way. Brian Schoeneman, a real-life lobbyist and lawyer, has been banned from Eve for abusing his in-game political position.

You need to know a few things about Eve Online to understand how Schoeneman got himself into this situation. Players can choose their own path in Eve, joining groups and alliances to amass power and wealth. Skilled players and groups can use the economy to inflict more damage on their enemies than they could with a fleet of decked-out battlecruisers. Behind all the seeming randomness are the game’s developers (CCP Games), and they seek feedback from players to keep the game fun and interesting. To help focus player feedback, the Eve Online universe has the Council Of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of democratically elected players who work with the developers.

Schoeneman, who goes by Brisc Rubal in Eve, won a spot on the CSM last year with the campaign slogan “Make Eve Great Again.” Being on the CSM comes with a strict code of conduct and real-life non-disclosure agreements (NDA). According to CCP, Brisc Rubal didn’t follow the rules and abused his power for (in-game) financial gain. He may also have violated NDAs.

Allegedly, Brisc Rubal used confidential information to help associates in his group “conduct illicit in-game transactions.” CCP Games hasn’t provided exact details of the supposed scheme but has mentioned that it will begin banning the use of electronic devices during CSM meetings. That suggests he might have let others listen in so they could game the system. In addition to banning Schoeneman permanently, a number of his co-conspirators have been hit with a one-year ban. So, while some game developers are working on new ways to push loot boxes, CCP Games is rooting out in-game political corruption. 

Schoeneman is threatening to take this conflict out of the Eve universe and into the courts. He claims this situation has affected his online and public standing. Although, it was his call to connect his online persona and real identity. Players often invest a great deal of time and real-world money in Eve, so it’s understandable he’d be upset, but the developer’s EULA makes it clear it can block players whenever it wants.

Now read:

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Woman with disability banned from No Frills store after failing to pack groceries fast enough

A woman with disabilities is fighting back after she was told not to return to a popular No Frills grocery store unless she brought help — because she couldn't pack her groceries fast enough.

When Linda Rolston complained to head office, Loblaw offered the Alberta woman $ 100 in compensation on the condition she keep quiet about what happened and not take action against the company.

"They can keep the $ 100. I'm going to tell anybody and continue with my human rights action," said Rolston, who had her voice box removed in 2014 due to cancer. The surgery left her unable to speak without a prosthesis in her throat, and with limited mobility in her shoulders and arms.

David Lepofsky, a prominent advocate for people with disabilities, calls the company's compensation offer "a microscopic Band-Aid, which doesn't fix the problem."

Lepofsky, who is volunteer chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, says provinces need to set legal standards on accessibility for companies and crack down on those that fail to meet them. 

"It's not going to change just by raising awareness," he said.

Lawyer David Lepofsky, an advocate for people with disabilities, says change requires government action, not just increased awareness. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

Rolston often shopped at the No Frills in Whitecourt, Alta. She says she had to "beg and plead" staff for help packing big grocery runs but was often told they were too busy.

No Frills franchises are part of the Loblaw group of companies. It is the kind of grocery store where customers are required to pack their own items and in exchange, the idea is, they pay lower prices.  

Fed up with having to beg for help, Rolston says in January she complained to the franchise owner, who promised to fix the problem.

But when she went back a few weeks later, nothing had changed, she says. As she worked to pack her items as quickly as she could, a lineup was forming behind her. That's when the owner came over, Rolston says, and told her if she can't bring someone to pack for her, she shouldn't come back.

Rolston says she had to 'beg and plead' — often unsuccessfully — for staff to help her pack up her groceries at her local No Frills store. Until one day the owner told her she needed to go shop somewhere else. (Linda Rolston) 

"I was stunned," she said.

"I said, 'Are you telling me because I'm disabled I can't shop here?' And he said, 'Yes.' I said, 'I don't have anyone to help me and I have my prescriptions here.' He said, 'Well, you're just going to have to go somewhere else.'"

Go Public contacted the owner but he declined to answer questions, calling it a "human resources thing." 

Accessibility policy doesn't apply 

Rolston complained again – this time to Loblaw's head office. Customer service apologized and Rolston says she was  told she could continue shopping at the store as long as she called ahead to make sure someone was available to assist her. Rolston said that didn't seem right since other customers weren't expected to do the same.

"I'm an adult. I'm not going to phone to get permission to go shopping," she said in an interview.

Go Public asked Loblaw specific questions about Rolston's confrontation with the No Frills owner and about Loblaw's response, including the $ 100 compensation offer from the company that followed. The compensation letter says Rolston must sign a release form agreeing not to talk about the case or pursue any further action in order to collect the $ 100.

Rolston says the owner of her local No Frills store told her she needed to bring someone to pack her bags for her if she wanted to shop there. (Romeo's No Frills/Facebook )

Loblaw replied with a general statement to Go Public that says it took "immediate action" when it heard what happened and addressed the issue "directly with the store owner." 

Spokesperson Karen Gumbs also wrote that Loblaw is "working with the store's management to ensure staff at the store receive additional training" regarding the company's customer service accessibility policy.

However, Gumbs also said that policy — which promises to ensure "equal access" for people with disabilities and provide training for new staff — only applies to "corporate grocery stores," not the 257 No Frills franchises across the country.  

'Less human'  

A lack of national, mandatory standards is the problem, according to Mary Ann McColl of the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance. 

"[Rolston] was made to feel less human than other patrons in this store," she said.

Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are the only provinces with laws requiring public and private organizations to make all spaces accessible to people with disabilities. Penalties for those who don't comply can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

McColl says that kind of approach is what's needed in every province, because accessibility laws set the standard for organizations before problems occur. In most provinces, the only recourse is through human rights laws. While those are good, she says, they can only address individual complaints.

Queen's University professor Mary Ann McColl says every province needs legislation requiring public and private organizations to make all spaces accessible to people with disabilities. Only three provinces currently have such a law. (Queen's University) 

"It's a very slow way to make change in society, one person at a time. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that if a person is successful … that there will be a structural change as a result of that." 

People with disabilities account for the highest number of human rights complaints in Canada.

Rolston's home province of Alberta is one of those without an accessibility law.  

In November, the province appointed para-athlete Tony Flores as its first advocate for persons with disabilities. In an email to Go Public, Flores says he supports accessibility legislation and plans to "bring that forward to the government."

He didn't say when he'll do that.

Rolston says telling her story publicly was hard.

"I was kind of scared for people to see me. I don't like to have my picture taken or anything, but I was so upset about this — I wanted everyone to know what they did to me." 

She says she won't go back to the No Frills store, and is now filling out the paperwork for a human rights complaint. 

While Rolston appreciates the apology she got from customer service, she is still waiting for the one she requested from the No Frills owner. 

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