The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) says St. John’s runner David Freake has waived his right to hearing and has accepted a four-year sanction for use of banned substances.
Freake had been notified of the sanction earlier this month; it relates to the results of testing conducted at an Ottawa race in late May.
The CCES says a urine sample was taken Freake collected during in-competition doping control on May 26 and revealed the presence of GW501516, 2-4-dinitrophenol and recombinant EPO, all prohibited substances, as well as ephedrine, a specified substance.
Ephedrine can be found in nasal decongestants, but the other three have all been listed in alerts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
GW501516 is a developmental drug that was withdrawn because of the discovery of toxicities, but in a 2013 release, WADA said it had discovered the drug was still being purchased on the black market by athletes.
Dinitrophenolm, also known as DNP, was the subject of a 2015 notice from Interpol, saying the metabolism-boosting drug, which was used for weight loss and an aid to bodybuilding, was toxic and potentially fatal. It had already been added to WADA’s prohibited substance list at that time.
Both GW501516 and DNP have also been highlighted in Health Canada advisories.
As for EPO, or erythropoietin, it is a drug boosts red-cell production. It is used medically, to treat anemias for example, but has been on WADA’s list of banned substances for many years.
The 33-year-old Freake has been one of the province’s most successful long distance racers for more than half a decade and also has maintained an online blog about his running career. Freake has also developed into a contender in mainland events; for example, he finished first at the 2018 Toronto Marathon.
This year, he recorded wins in a couple of Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association (NLAA) races and was first in a number of non-NLAA events as well. Most recently, he won the so-called Tartan Twosome at September’s Maritime Race Weekend in Eastern Passage, N.S,. finishing first in both the five-kilometre race and half-marathon.
He has a string of top-five finishes stretching back two years, including a fourth-place run at the 2019 Tely 10. The only exception is the Ottawa Marathon, the event at which he was tested; Freake suffered a fall in that race and did not finish.
Freake was reportedly set to take part in Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon , but did not compete in the event, which doubles as the national championships.
Athletics Canada said Tuesday that “it supports the CCES decision on Mr. Freake.” adding his membership with the national organization has been revoked.
The CCES sanctions — which will expire Oct. 10, 2023 — mean Freake is not permitted to participate in training with other athletes, otherwise they could be subject to penance. And it’s not just running involved. The CCES announcement Tuesday said he is also “ineligible to participate in any capacity with any sport signatory to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP).