Wright plans panned

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

CFL commissioner Tom Wright's plan to keep NFL drug offenders out of Canada doesn't impress those who've used the CFL as a safe haven in the past.

Wright said this week he'd like to see the CFL begin honouring NFL suspensions next season, a policy he's planning to have added to the agreement between the two leagues.

That means players like Ricky Williams, Onterrio Smith and Ron Warner won't be able to cool their heels up north, while serving their time down south.

"You're keeping a man from feeding his family," Warner, a Blue Bomber defensive lineman, said yesterday. "What goes on in the NFL ... has nothing to do with the CFL. Like the Ricky Williams situation, he should have the opportunity to get a chance to play."

Under suspension for the entire 2006 NFL season after failing four drug tests, Williams will play in Toronto this year.

Warner was also on suspension when he first joined the Bombers in 2000. He used his year in the CFL to get back to the States.

"By coming over here I learned how to be a professional," he said. "And then I went back there and lasted five years."

Warner rejoined the Bombers this year, where one of his teammates could be Smith, the former Minnesota Vikings running back currently serving a one-year NFL suspension, also for failed drug tests.

"It's real unfortunate that things could go down like that," Smith said of the proposed change. "You'll have to lose a whole year. I did that, and that's not a good thing. You get out of shape and your rhythm is off."

Smith says if the CFL closes its doors, suspended players could start looking at the Arena League.

There is, of course, a way to avoid the hassles.

"We've got to take it into our own hands as guys, as grown men, to not get suspended," Smith said. "We've got to grow up."


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