September 17, 2004
Connor vows return in '05Paralympic sprinter failed drug test
By DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun
Earle Connor has been overcoming obstacles his whole life. So one day after news broke he has been banned from the Paralympic Games after a positive drug test last month, the local world-champion disabled sprinter vowed to deal with his current crisis and return to competition next year.
"I'm extremely hopeful I'll show the powers that be a one-year suspension correlates to the infraction that I've committed," said the 28-year-old Connor, who holds world records in the 100, 200 and 400 metres, as well the 60 metres indoors.
Connor -- who lost his left leg at three months and runs with a prosthesis -- tested positive for trace amounts of testosterone and nandrolone in a random competition doping control test on Aug. 23.
He was left off Canada's Paralympic team for the Summer Games in Athens, which start today. Connor was expected to be Canada's flag-bearer.
The sprinter said as soon as the test was administered, he knew he had a problem.
Connor said he has been taking a prescribed hormone replacement product after he underwent surgery to remove one of his testes in 2001 due to cancer-related concerns.
According to Connor, because of the personal nature of the condition, he chose not to share the information about his prescribed drug with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, a decision he now regrets.
"I'm going to have to live with the fact I didn't fill out the proper paperwork," said Connor.
"I didn't want a panel of people to know in depth about issues that were very personal to me. Now, in retrospect, it would've been easier to have them know about it rather than an entire country. I made a mistake and I'll now pay for it."
Connor insisted he is not pondering retirement.
"I can come back and I'll only be 29 and still have the world ahead of me," he said.
"I will remain positive and my career will still be on the upswing."