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Suspension Not The Only Thing Hurting Joines

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
EDMONTON - Ross Rebagliati pleaded it was second-hand smoke that led to his positive drug test for marijuana and he got to keep his Olympic snowboarding gold medal in 1988 with no suspension.

Disabled sit-skier Kimberley Joines used marijuana for medicinal purposes so she fessed up to using it after testing positive in January and was handed a nine-month suspension on Thursday.

"Technically that's about the maximum you can get for admitting guilt on this type of substance," said the 26-year-old Edmontonian, who was withdrawn from competition last winter as soon as the positive result was known.

Joines said when she started using marijuana she also started the procedure to get Health Canada approval, only to discover that while the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports would grant an exemption allowing its use, the World Anti-Drug Agency would not.

"As it is against the rules, I will not attempt to do that ever again," she said.

The problem is trying to find a suitable substitute.

"The team is working diligently at finding an alternative but it involves running through a whole lot of prescription drugs that, in my opinion, mess you up a whole lot more. I've never found a prescription drug that relieved me (of the pain) the way marijuana did."

Joines became a paraplegic when she landed badly in a snowboarding accident in 2000 and has suffered from a lot of pain since. Her problems have been compounded by a series of injuries on the World Cup circuit, including cracked ribs when she fell off a chair lift in Aspen, Colo., in January, 2005, and a broken femur that same winter.

A bronze medallist at the 2006 Paralympic Games in Turin, Italy, Joines tested positive at a World Cup race in Aspen. Alpine Canada immediately withdrew her from further competition and the International Paralympic

Committee finally handed down its decision Thursday, the nine-month suspension retroactive to the date of the infraction -- Jan. 17.

While she will have served her suspension before next season begins, Joines also lost her Sport Canada funding of $1,500 a month, her primary source of income.

"That's the kicker, the tough one," she said, adding she will now actively be seeking additional sponsorship to try to make up for the loss funding.

To get her funding re-instated, she will have to re-qualify next season. That shouldn't be a problem since she is one of the top disabled skiers in the world but she still hasn't been told by the disabled ski team if she will be allowed to train with them in the pre-season to get ready for the season.

"If you read between the lines, her nine-month suspension started the day she was found to have taken the banned substance last January so it's finished before next season's World Cup circuit starts," said Brian MacPherson, chief operating officer of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

"I think that's good and significant. I'm told she was remorseful when told there was a positive test ... I think that had a bearing on the sanction handed down."

Ken Read, chief executive officer of Alpine Canada, said the IPC took into consideration the fact Joines was immediately withdrawn from further competition, that Alpine Canada had a hearing and sanctioned her, and that she was forthcoming.

"The good thing about all this is Kimberley, when she had the test, she immediately came forward," said Read. "She's been honest, she's co-operated fully so no one had ducked any responsibility."

With the suspension ending before the start of next season Joines said she will definitely be back competing.

"Oh God, yes, absolutely. I was in fine form last year. I won my first race by four seconds ... my training has put me in that place where I should be able to kick some serious butt, so it was very frustrating to have this happen."

Read said Alpine Canada will remain fully supportive of Joines when she returns and has been in her corner throughout the long process that led to Thursday's decision.

"We tried to be supportive, to respect where she's coming from, respect who she is, it's part of why she's been able to overcome disabilities to become one of the best competitors in the world in her given sport.

"It's a disappointing situation, but it's one that we want her to take the punishment and move on."

News Hawk- User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Canada.com
Author: John Korobanik
Contact: jkorobanik@thejournal.canwest.com
Copyright: CanWest News Service 2007
Website: Suspension not only thing hurting Joines


New Member
Its sad that she has to apologize for using the only medicine that works! Also, according to all the propaganda, mj is not performance enhancing drug. Why restrict its use in sports if its bad for you? If you smoke pot and still win, I guess that means you're just that much better than everyone else.
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