Joines dealing with repercussions

ALISON KORN -- For Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

Canadian paralympic skier Kimberly Joines was "very forthcoming" after testing positive for cannabis and is doing community service while she serves a nine-month suspension, Alpine Canada confirmed yesterday.

In addition, the International Paralympic Committee announced Joines, 25, tested positive for a byproduct of cannabis at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Aspen, Colo., on Jan. 17.

Even before the results came back, Joines knew she might be in trouble and told Alpine Canada CEO Ken Read immediately that there could be a problem with her urine sample, Read said.

And sure enough, the cannabis, which entered her system over the Christmas holidays at home in Edmonton, surfaced on the January test.

"You're shocked," said Read, of his first reaction to the hint of trouble.

"And then you say, 'Well what is it?' She's been very forthcoming throughout the whole process, both from the point of view of helping her understand the gravity of the circumstances and in terms of working with us on the educational side both for herself and her sport."

Joines agreed she would do community education, which helped her get a ruling of less than the normal sanction of one year, Read added.

This is Joines' first offence and the first doping infraction for a Canadian alpine skier in history.

Not the kind of "first" you want, especially for a team that has been increasing its profile and sponsorships.

Cannabis was added to the prohibited list a few years ago because it has been shown to be a performance enhancer in certain sports, is illegal in many countries and has health risks.

In Canada, the vast majority of doping infractions has been for cannabis: Stats show that six of the nine positive tests from July to December 2006 were for cannabis.

Unlike Ross Rebagliati, the 1998 Olympic snowboard champion who said he inhaled second-hand smoke at a party, Joines didn't bother offering a defence.

That's because the threshold for flunking the test has been set to screen out second- hand smoke cases, according to Joseph de Pencier, director of ethics and anti-doping services at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

"It seems particularly sad if there is no evidence of performance enhancement and (violators) let their social habits interfere with their athletic careers."

The centre is starting an awareness campaign for Canadian athletes about the risks of indulging in cannabis.

Joines won bronze in the super G at the 2006 Paralympics and was second in the Super G World Cup standings for 2005-06. She'll be eligible to compete again this winter.

NELSON'S CONQUEST

Getting up at 5:30 a.m. to train for two hours every day is paying off for Caledon's Kim Nelson, who outswam, outbiked and outran 13 fellow CEOs to win the CEO Triathlon Challenge on a very difficult course at the St. Croix Ironman 70.3 (Half Ironman) in the U.S. Virgin Islands last Sunday.

"This was my biggest international field and my biggest win," Nelson, 36, said Nelson is general manager of Royal Containers in Brampton, finished the race consisting of a 2-km swim, 90-km bike and a 21-km run in five hours, 26 minutes. She beat out fellow CEO John Klarer of Calgary and 12 other American CEOs.

Though her time was only about 30 minutes off the pros, Nelson doesn't aspire to be a full-time participant.

"Business is my passion as triathlon is," she said. "I love working here."

Royal Containers is a family owned business founded in 1980 by her father, Ross Nelson. The company manufactures custom corrugated cardboard containers such as boxes and posters.

The CEO Triathlon Challenge is a "race within the race" at selected triathlons around the world.

The $4,500 US program includes everything the CEO requires to compete in the event, including first-class accommodations, meals, the opportunity to meet top pros in the sport, transportation, bike mechanic and private course tour.

The fastest two CEOs earn a slot to the CEO Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

"Kim raced very smartly and methodically picked her way through the field," said Ted Kennedy, owner/president of CEO Challenges.

"Her fellow competitors have nothing but the utmost respect for her mental toughness and talent."


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