OTTAWA, Canada, July 8. A doping infraction that has been called “inadvertent” will keep one of Canada’s strongest medal hopes away from this month’s Commonwealth Games.
Swimming Canada released a statement after news came to light of Alec Page’s one-month suspension for testing positive for the drug probenecid, which helps to mask the effects of other drugs on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances. Page’s positive test came in April at the Canadian nationals/international selection meet, and by negating his results from the meet, Page is not able to swim next month at the Commonwealth Games or in August at the Pan Pacific championships.
Page’s one-month ban ran from May 25 to June 25. He won the 400 IM at nationals with a 4:15.80 and placed second in the 200 fly with a 1:59.65. Page’s 400 IM time had him ranked 16th in the world as of today and fifth among Commonwealth swimmers.
In the Swimming Canada statement, Page said taking the drug was not intentional, but accepted the consequences of unknowingly ingesting the banned substance via a tainted supplement. “It is an unfortunate situation and came as a complete shock,” he said. “I have always followed a strict and regimented program with regards to my diet and what supplements I put into my body, following prescribed guidelines developed by national experts. I respect the anti-doping rules and understand they are put in place to create a level playing field for all athletes. I am always honored to wear the maple leaf and represent my country on the international stage. I love my sport and all of the people I have met doing it, I would never do anything to jeopardize that.”
“Anti-doping regulations are in place to ensure a level playing field for all athletes and we are committed to the enforcement and support of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP),” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “At the same time, it’s clear Alec did not intend to cheat and that the presence of trace amounts of this substance was inadvertent. A reduced ban was appropriate in this case and allows Alec to continue pursuing his career as one of Canada’s most talented young swimmers. He is a young man of outstanding character, we consider him family and we look forward to him representing Canada again in the future.”
Page swam in the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympics, placing 23rd. He was also part of Canada’s 800 free relay that finished 14th in London.
Federation spokesperson Nathan White said Canada will not be replacing Page on the team. Luke Reilly now moves up as the country’s top representative this summer in the 400 IM.