Canadian pole vaulter was allowed to compete in Rio after positive cocaine test

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MOSCOW. KAZINFORM - World champion Shawn Barber claims that he had accidentally taken the illicit drug while spending a wild night with a woman he met through a casual encounter post on Craigslist, the night before the Canadian Olympic trials, Sputnik reports.

In his post looking for casual sex, he wrote that he was seeking a "professional person," who was "drug and disease free," the Star reported.

On Thursday, the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada released their decision to allow him to compete after the court ruled that the trace amount of the drug found in his system was from kissing the woman, after she had taken it just before they met in a hotel room. The woman, a mother of two identified only as "W" in the court documents, testified that she "felt horrible" and that Barber had no way of knowing that she had been using drugs. Cocaine is banned under the World Anti-Doping Code, so the Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sport had suggested a four-year ban for the athlete. The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre disagreed, and, two days before his Olympic competition was set to begin, they cleared him to go.

"I am happy to have this behind me so that I can move on with my career with a free conscience," Barber said in a statement. "At no time during my actions, did I even fathom the possibility of being able to be contaminated with cocaine. This is a learning experience that I hope other athletes can learn from as I have. I want to thank my support staff and most of all my fans that have supported me through the years and I hope will continue to do so."

Though Barber is not suspended from competing, he was stripped of his 2016 Canadian pole vault title.

"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," Athletics Canada said.

Source: Sputnik

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