TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber was at the Rio Olympics despite earlier testing positive for cocaine but the decision to allow him to compete was the right one, Athletics Canada said on Thursday.
The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada’s ruling was released on Thursday and said Barber inadvertently ingested the banned substance during a sexual encounter the night before the Canadian trials in July with a woman who had taken cocaine.
Barber had faced a four-year ban but the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport ruled him to be at no fault or negligence for an anti-doping rule violation.
”The positive finding in this case was found to be of no fault of the athlete,“ Athletics Canada said in a statement. ”We are thankful that the proper procedures recognized the presence of a prohibited substance, but also in ensuring due process to the athlete in coming to a fair and reasonable decision.
While Barber was allowed to compete at the Rio Games in August, where he went on to finish a disappointing 10th, he was stripped of his 2016 Canadian pole vault title for having a banned substance in his body.
“This has been a learning experience for Shawn, he is a young athlete learning how to compete on the field of play, and prepare away from it,” said Athletics Canada.
Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Frank Pingue