Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe was cleared by an anti-doping panel, in a Jan. 27, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Vincent Lapointe cleared to return to competition by anti-doping panel

MONTREAL — An anti-doping panel has cleared top Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe to return to training and competition ahead of her sport’s Olympic debut this summer.

The panel convened by the International Canoe Federation made the decision after it accepted that the 11-time world champion did not knowingly take ligandrol.

“We are thrilled that Laurence was cleared of any wrong-doing and can return to training with the team in Florida,” Canoe Kayak Canada chief executive officer Casey Wade said in a statement.

“This has been a very difficult period for Laurence, her partner Katie Vincent and the entire team of paddlers who have demonstrated such strength and tenacity over the last five months. We look forward to building our momentum as a team to podium success in Tokyo.”

It accepted evidence which supported that she was the victim of third-party contamination.

The canoeist has said she gets her products from the National Team Training Centre.

Vincent Lapointe, 27, was provisionally suspended for having trace amounts of the drug in an out-of-competition doping test conducted July 29.

Ligandrol, used to treat conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances because it has an anabolic steroids effect.

She was subsequently suspended and was not able to compete at the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, which also doubled as a Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection event.

Lapointe and her lawyer, Adam Klevinas, attended a hearing before the ICF’s Doping Control Panel in Lausanne, Switzerland, to present their case in December.

Women’s sprint canoe will be in the Olympics for the first time this summer in Tokyo.

Gracenote, an international data analytics company, has predicted Vincent Lapointe will win two Olympic gold medals this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2020.

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