• Jarret Lukin Suspended

    by Tyler Dellow • February 9, 2007 • Uncategorized • 21 Comments

    TSN has a fairly in-depth story up about the Jarret Lukin suspension. The basic facts are that Lukin, who played for the University of Calgary, was drug tested by the Candian Centre for Ethics in Sport following a game on November 3, 2006. He tested positive for cocaine, a substance prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. He got a hearing, was unable to meet any of the tests required to avoid a suspension and got suspended.

    It’s hard to express just how indefensible I think this is, from a number of different angles. First of all, cocaine isn’t a performance enhacing substance. I’ve done some googling on this (yeah, now I’m an expert) and, based on what the experts I’ve come up with have said, it isn’t going to help players perform any better. Second, the whole concept of drug testing without any cause is incredibly intrusive. If you’re going to be engaging that sort of testing, the drug testing should be limited to drugs that might actually give a player an edge. I’d imagine that some people would come up with moral arguments against the use of cocaine but I see those arguments as being pretty much irrelevant in this instance. If you accept that something as intrusive as drug testing requires a pretty significant justification, and that moral reasons aren’t accepted generally as a reason to test people for drug use, you can’t say “Well, we’ve already got the pee in a cup, so we might as well check for some other things.” Third, I think that CIS needs to ask itself what exactly it’s trying to accomplish here. What broader objective is served by accepting Dick Pound’s rules and banning Lukin for two years? How do they justify this? If you accept that it’s not performance enhancing, the CIS is engaging in some pretty selective moral judgments of their athletes. If you accept that the CIS and university sport has some sort of purpose beyond facilitating high level athletic competition, it should be obvious that there might be other ways to have dealt with this that didn’t involve banning Lukin from competition for two years. I took a look at the University of Calgary counselling page and they apparently provide services for people with drug issues. Given that there aren’t any performance issues here, would not a referral of Lukin to those services have been more appropriate?

    The fact that this is basically a moral judgment is really underlined if you look at the decision of the arbitrator. There’s an allusion to the fact that suspensions for positive tests for marijuana result in a less lengthy suspension, something that this story about University of Alberta Golden Bears forward Doug Auchenberg would seem to confirm. How can marijuana be recognized as a recreational drug without performance enhancing benefits while cocaine isn’t? I don’t think that the CIS should be suspending people (or even testing them) for marijuana but this is at least a ray of common sense.

    All in all, this is just a sad story. Lukin, a guy who was getting a university education and who did something stupid that didn’t enhance his performance, is now playing in the ECHL. It’s another scalp on Dick Pound’s wall, without any purpose being served whatsoever.

    Update:  There is an excellent story on naplesnews.com about this.  The commissioner of the WHL, Ron Robison has apparently committed his league to installing a drug policy similar to that of CIS.  Those guys need a union, quickly.  The ECHL doesn’t have a drug testing policy but claims to have the power to suspend a player if they’re found to have had a positive test for an illegal drug.  Those guys need a better union.  My guess is that he’s gone from the ECHL shortly.


    There’s a story today in the National Post noting that Rachel Hunter’s son is playing in the Quebec Peewee Tournament. I was surprised to learn that Jarret Stoll isn’t the only hockey player she’s raising.[rimshot]

    About Tyler Dellow

    21 Responses to Jarret Lukin Suspended

    1. February 9, 2007 at

      Yes, but what kind of message would we be sending children if we didn’t react swiftly and harshly to… oh, fuck it, I can’t even fake this argument with any enthusiasm anymore.

      Your problem here, Tyler, is that you’re approaching a drug issue with logic, which can only lead to extreme frustration. Billions of words have been written wondering how so much of the general population can hold multiple inconsistent (or contradictory) opinions on drugs & medicine, and they haven’t made a goddamn bit of difference.

      Hey, Lukin might be lucky. A lot of other people have done that same “something stupid” (your words, not mine) and ended up dead or in jail, not just kicked off their hockey team.

    2. mc79hockey
      February 9, 2007 at

      At least with the politicians, Matt, I can understand it. WADA is hopeless because it’s run by zealots. CIS though, I’d like to think is small enough that they could exercise some common sense. It’s a shame that none of these agencies are subject to the Charter and subject to some supervision of their ability to force people to submit to drug tests.

    3. February 10, 2007 at

      I can certainly see the point that athletes are considered role models, and that having elite athletes snorting coke without repercussions, legal or otherwise, is kind of a bad idea. That being said, university athletes? University is when you get all the stupid shit out of your system. If it’s not a performance-enhancing drug, the only thing it will do is hurt him in the long run.

    4. Jess
      February 11, 2007 at

      I know Jarret personally, and he’s a nice guy, a good player and a good leader. Just not really a smart one.
      He knew the rules and he broke them. Should he be suspended? Yes. Should it be for 2 years? No.
      Especially after the 2000 Olymic games debacale with Italian kayaker Josefa Idem who tested positve for HGH BEFORE the Olympics BEFORE the games and was still allowed to compete without any problems from ANY of the countries.
      I didn’t hear Dick Pound complaining even though it cost Canada a gold medal.

      That being said, he’s going to suspend a 23 year old student for doing something stupid at a Hallowe’en party. Glad to see he has his priorties.

    5. mc79hockey
      February 11, 2007 at

      Wait…is this my sister Jess, or a different, but same named Jess, possibly sent here to confuse me?

    6. Dennis
      February 11, 2007 at

      Because no one else said it…nice job on the Stoll crack:)

    7. lindsay
      February 11, 2007 at

      Tyler,

      I am shocked at your post. If a guy, any guy is doing cocaine he is a huge loser taking chances with his life, and being completely disrespectful to the fact that even if he doesn’t give a shit about himself or about his team other people do. You can’t defend a drug user. There are a group of mistakes that can be written off to growing up, or being childish or experimenting or whatever but cocaine isn’t one of them. You can’t kill someone and justify it with “getting stupid shit out of system” and as a result most people think twice before killing someone…and until drugs are treated in a similar manner people won’t think twice about using them. University athletes get all sorts of perks that regular university students don’t get and as such they forego the joys of the opportunity to do consequence free cocaine. As if it’s sad he’s in the ECHL, it’s sad some parent sunk thousands of dollars into this kid playing hockey hoping he would stay out of drugs and then the kid was still so fucking dumb as to get into it anyway.

      why is it a shame these guys are subjected to drug tests? Is it really that much to ask that your players aren’t drug users? Drugs are for people that have nothing going for them, anyone who gets to play a competitive sport and get paid or get free school as a result shouldn’t need drugs to get high.

      feel free to respond…i just feel very strongly on this issue…drugs are totally unacceptable but once committed to a team, a profession, or a child you should just be thrown in jail if you can’t give it up. huzzah.

      now go to the box and feel shame.

    8. jess
      February 12, 2007 at

      I haven’t read the TSN stuff and I’m a little unclear as to whether or not the CIS deems marijuana and cocaine to be performance enhancing, or they are simply banned.

      While I agree with your comments re the severity of the discretionary penalty meted out to this kid, particularly if punishments for marijuana use are lighter, I am curious about one point you make. “Second, the whole concept of drug testing without any cause is incredibly intrusive.” Presumably when young hockey players get involved in hockey at university or college they sign some sort of consent form in which they agree to what is, admittedly, incredibly intrusive testing for recreational (although illegal) substances. Seems to be not a bad price to pay for getting to participate in sport at a high level.

    9. Jess
      February 13, 2007 at

      Errr probably a different one. ;)

    10. LukinFan
      March 16, 2007 at

      Lindsay, are you telling me that you have NEVER in your life done something you regret? You must not have lived if you haven’t becuase EVERYONE does something that they regret.

      I myself have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, but thankfully I have never touched any drugs. I do know plenty of people who have though.

      Jarret is a really nice guy. The time that I was around him, he did not act like a “fucking dumb kid”. While I would NEVER be so brave as to ask Jarret about that Halloween, I have to trust that it was something he does regret. And if they are going to punish him to that degree, then they need to punish ALL drug users the same way – there goes the end of sports.

      “Never throw stones in a glass house”

    11. Grow Box Hydroponics Guru
      September 11, 2007 at

      Good morning! I was surfing the internet Tuesday afternoon during my break, and found your blog by searching MSN for marijuana games. This is a topic I have great interest in, and follow it closely. I liked your insight on , and it made for good reading. Keep up the good work…

    12. June 18, 2008 at

      I have quite a different view on marijuana than most do, but what I know is the facts. Marijuana should just be overall legal for medical purposes. It has tons of benefits and can do virtually no harm to the user.

    13. June 19, 2008 at

      Lukin could have stayed away from cocaine once the sport had been scheduled. Since its always mandatory that sportsmen should not test positive for any sort of drug, its better to keep away from using them rather than arguing the good and bad of the after effects of drug tests conducted on sports personnel.

    14. July 13, 2008 at

      This doesn’t seem so complicated to me. Most recreational drugs should be decriminalized (I don’t pretend to have enough knowledge to know which are truly self-destructive, and which are in the same world as tobacco & alcohol … but there are people who DO have this expertise who can decide).

      But as long as these drugs are illegal, and by purchasing and using them one is enabling a vicious and deadly system of distribution, then there should be consequences.

    15. March 27, 2009 at

      If someone takes drugs they should face the consequences but I agree that one person shouldn’t be punished more than any other drug user :)

    16. July 13, 2010 at

      Did he think that he wouldn’t get caught abusing COCAINE! I would understand if it was some performance enhancing drug no one has ever heard of, but COCAINE?! Just do meth next time and come on the ice tripping.

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