York United’s Osaze De Rosario banned for one month after positive cannabis test

York United’s Osaze De Rosario, left, and Vancouver Whitecaps’ Erik Godoy vie for the ball during the first half of a Canadian Championship semifinal soccer match, in Vancouver, on June 22, 2022. De Rosario has been suspended for one month after testing positive for THC, a component of cannabis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

York United FC striker Osaze De Rosario has been suspended for one month after testing positive for THC, a component of cannabis.

De Rosario, the son of former Canadian international star Dwayne De Rosario, tested positive at an in-competition urine test on Oct. 1 and was sanctioned by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

THC is included on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of prohibited substances.

The CCES notes that the WADA’s prohibited list is not affected by changes in Canadian law that legalized recreational cannabis, adding cannabis is just one of many substances that are legal in Canada yet prohibited in sport.

READ MORE: NCAA committee recommends dropping marijuana from banned drug list for athletes

“Last September, I unknowingly consumed THC after eating an unlabelled dessert at a dinner gathering I attended days before a match,” De Rosario said in a statement. “I understand that cannabis is legal in Canada but is also prohibited in-competition in some professional sports.

“I did not intentionally eat cannabis, but I take responsibility for my actions and will abide by the sanction. This will allow me to get back on the field in the shortest timeframe allowed under the CCES rules. I apologize to my club, the coaching staff, my teammates, our supporters and my family for not being available this month.”

The 22-year-old De Rosario is ineligible to participate in any capacity with York United during the suspension. He has three goals in 18 appearances this season and leads York with two assists and 27 shots.

York president and GM Angus McNab called the situation “regrettable.”

“We are satisfied that Osaze consumed the THC inadvertently and out of competition,” he said. “While we support his decision to comply with the CCES’ sanction, it is disappointing that a sanction is required under these circumstances.”

“We appreciate the important work done by the CCES, but we are disappointed that THC, a substance that is legal to consume in Canada, remains on WADA’s prohibited list.”

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The suspension also drew reaction from Jozy Altidore, a former Toronto FC and U.S. international star forward.

“Change this rule ASAP. Ridiculous!!” Altidore tweeted to his 831,000 followers.

Osaze’s younger brother, goalkeeper Adisa De Rosario, is also with York this season, on loan from Toronto FC II.

Osaze De Rosario is the second CPL player to run afoul of the CCES this month.

HFX Wanderers forward Ludwig Amla was banned for two years after a doping test in September revealed the presence of terbutaline, a prohibited beta-2 agonist.

– The Canadian Press

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