“It was just disappointing to hear that he had made those choices,” said Kuprowski, a running back for the Redmen.
“We pride ourselves on being a clean team, and we are a clean team. So, yeah, I was surprised,” he added. “He was one of the core guys. A great guy in the locker room.”
Pelosse, a U2 Physical Education student, declined to be interviewed, saying in an email to The Daily, “I prefer not to discuss [the suspension] as I am trying hard to focus on my studies so I remain a good student.”
He added, “It has been a grueling and heartbreaking time for me, my family and my team.”
Pelosse did not play during the 2010 season, his last recorded game was in 2009.
CCES spokesperson Rosemary Pitfield confirmed that Pelosse was informed of his test result as soon as the samples came back from the lab, which typically takes anywhere from one to three weeks after testing. Representatives from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and McGill Athletics Director Drew Love were also informed of the positive test at that time. The result was kept confidential until the December 2 press release.
Pelosse was one of two McGill football players to take a CCES drug test in June. Pitfield said the exact method the centre uses to pick subjects for tests is confidential, but she gave a broad sample of the criteria often used. The centre was privy to the football team’s three-times yearly performance tests, and Pitfield said the CCES looks “for spikes in terms of performance.” Unusual increases in a player’s weight-lifting ability, track times, or weight gains, among other factors, can catch the centre’s eye and trigger a test.
Head Coach Sonny Wolfe said he hadn’t noticed anything unusual in Pelosse’s performance. “I don’t know that his test scores were…erratic. He was a strong kid coming out of high school,” Wolfe said.
“There wasn’t anything that absolutely would say, ‘There’s something here that’s different,’” he added.
Pitfield said that 13 McGill football players were tested between May and October this year. Pelosse was the only confirmed positive test among McGill athletes in that period.
The CCES announced twelve positive drug tests for university athletes between July 1 and September 30, including four for “cannabis.” CCES has conducted 1,674 urine tests and 176 blood tests since April.
The two hormone drugs that appeared in Pelosse’s urine sample during testing in June, Clomiphene and Tamoxifen, are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Both drugs work to reduce estrogen levels in the body, allowing testosterone to replenish itself. Clomiphene is commonly used as a female fertility drug, and Tamoxifen is a standard estrogen treatment for women in breast cancer therapy.
Wolfe has spoken with Pelosse since the December 2 suspension announcement. He said the defensive lineman is taking things “as well as you can.”
“It’s a real tough deal. Something that he’s passionate about has been taken away from him for two years,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe added that he sympathizes with Pelosse for the media scrutiny his story has attracted: “It’s the kind of thing you don’t like to see a young man go through.”
As for his own reaction, Wolfe said that “there was a small percentage of anger, but it was mainly disappointment.”
Asked if he thought Pelosse deserved the sentence he got, Wolfe said, “That’s not my call.”
“Certainly the penalties have to be severe enough that it acts as a true deterrent,” he added.