CFL players react swiftly to Pounding

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Reaction to Dick Pound's shot at the CFL and its lack of a drug policy has been swift, and predictable.

Players and coaches say the anti-doping czar's claim in the Sun yesterday that the CFL is a "summer camp" for NFL drug users is ill-informed.

The most vocal reaction came from Toronto, where there are currently three players who've been suspended for drug use in the NFL.

Argos running back Ricky Williams, serving a one-year NFL suspension for failing four drug tests, refused to comment. But some of his teammates chose otherwise.

"Looking around this league, I think Dick Pound might be stretching it," Argos linebacker Mike O'Shea told Canadian Press. "As much respect as I have for Dick Pound, I think it would serve him better if he understood the CFL a little better."

Argos coach Pinball Clemons defended the CFL as a Canadian institution, suggesting Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, "choose a different platform for his agenda."

"Don't reduce what means so much to me to simply a breeding ground for those who have had troubles," Clemons said, suggesting there are much better ways to address the issue.

In Edmonton, linebacker A.J. Gass says he's seen no evidence of any drug use.

"When you look around the room, you aren't seeing any humongous freaks that are lifting the house (in terms of weights)," Gass told Sun Media.

Not everybody is taking swipes at Pound.

Montreal offensive lineman Scott Flory says a drug policy is important, but will take time.

"We're not going to hash out an agreement over coffee one night," Flory told CP.

Players and owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, without a drug policy, earlier this year. It runs through 2009.

"I think any league -- if you want to be credible -- should have a drug test," Edmonton's Malcolm Frank told Sun Media.


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