ELATION: Nathan Baggaley reacts to winning his third world K1 500 title in Croatia two months ago.
ELATION: Nathan Baggaley reacts to winning his third world K1 500 title in Croatia two months ago.

Steroid shock

SYDNEY (AAP). ? World champion kayaker Nathan Baggaley has tested positive to the same performance enhancing drug that brought down Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

The dual Olympic silver medallist returned a positive result for stanozolol and methandienone in an out-of-competition test conducted by the Australian Sports Drug Agency on behalf of Surf Life Saving Australia on September 13.

Baggaley did not return phone calls yesterday, but has waived his right to have the B sample tested and will answer the charges at a hearing with SLSA and Canoeing Australia at a date yet to be set.

If found guilty he is likely to be suspended from competition for anywhere between one and four years, most likely two, however all previous results will stand, as the test was out of competition.

Just two weeks before the test, Baggaley won his third consecutive K1 500m world title in Croatia.

It is not known if he was tested after his victory on August 28.

Stanozolol is a man-made steroid that Johnson tested positive for 17 years ago.

The positive sample for Stanozolol stunned sporting circles because the drug is old, has no known masking agents and is highly detectable in tests.

Oral forms of the drug stay in the system from several weeks to several months, while the injected form can usually be detected up to several months later.

Methandienone is an orally applicable steroid that affects protein metabolism.

It has a very strong anabolic and androgenic effect, giving a great build-up of strength and muscle mass.

SLSA will chair the drugs hearing, which will be attended by Canoeing Australia, to discuss the ramifications of the positive result.

It is the first time SLSA has been forced to chair a meeting of this nature, with two previous positive tests.

The fact the test was out of competition will not help Baggaley in terms of reducing the penalty as the SLSA policy is strong against performance enhancing substances.

Baggaley is one of 30 high-performance athletes on SLSA's list supplied to ASDA for out of competition testing.

If found guilty he will lose all Australian Sports Commission funding earned from his performances at the world championships and Olympic Games.

Canoeing Australia CEO Robert Barnes said the kayaking community was shocked that the seven-times national K1 1000m champ had returned a positive sample.

Although CA has the power to impose their own penalty, Barnes said they would likely accept SLSA's ruling.

Baggaley was second in the K1 and K2 500m events at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

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