Bombers hopeful explains drug use
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency
|Fullback Jordan Matechuk is battling for a job with the Bombers a year after an arrest on drug charges. (QMI Agency/Files)
WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Blue Bombers fullback Jordan Matechuk says a battle with depression led to his arrest on drug charges a year ago.
Matechuk, 26, made the revelation Wednesday, in his first comments with the local media since he signed with the Bombers in February.
“The things that happened to me, I did it to myself,” Matechuk said. “I live with depression... and I used steroids and marijuana as part of a coping mechanism to make me feel better. I’ve learned. I went off my medication when I shouldn’t have. I’m with my doctor now and working hard.”
Matechuk was arrested last May, trying to cross the Canadian border at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Authorities found hundreds of steroid pills, plus liquid steroids, syringes, replacement needles and a small amount of marijuana in his car.
Pleading guilty last summer, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, serving about two-thirds of it.
Cut by the Ticats after his arrest, Matechuk convinced the Bombers to give him another chance. He’s trying out as a fullback and long snapper at mini-camp this week.
“This is the first time publicly speaking about it,” the Yorkton, Sask., native said. “I was fighting for my life last year in June. It’s a hard thing to talk about. But I feel if I talk about it I can help others. I can be a positive influence in the community.”
Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice says Matechuk won him over in their face-to-face meeting.
“He said, 'Football is an avenue for me to help people.' When I heard that, I said we should give this kid another chance and sign him,” LaPolice said. “He’s a good kid who made a mistake. I’m sure he’s going to fix it.”
Matechuk played junior football with the Winnipeg Rifles and attended Bomber training camps in 2007 and '08.