Vernon’s Matt Hamilton, a member of Snowboard Canada’s Para-Snowboard NextGen program, has been given a four-year competition ban for testing positive for a banned substance. (Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Vernon Para-snowboarder crushed by competition ban

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport said Matt Hamilton tested positive for a banned substance

Upset. Heartbroken. How could it happen? Career over.

Vernon Para-snowboarder Matt Hamilton, 38, a member of Para-Snowboard Canada’s NextGen team, was given a four-year ban from competition Monday, June 1, as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport announced he violated an anti-doping rule.

Hamilton’s urine sample, collected during out-of-competition doping control on Jan. 29, 2020, revealed the presence of GW501516, also known as cardarine and endurobol, a prohibited hormone and metabolic modulator.

It is banned under S4.5 Metabolic Modulators on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Substances in this category modify how the body metabolizes fat and GW1516 was originally synthesized and evaluated for the treatment of obesity, diabetes and other disorders caused by metabolic problems.

Hamilton’s ban is in effect until April 2024. He believes the result comes from a contaminated supplement he was taking.

“Obviously I’m not stupid enough to take anything that would jeopardize me competing, however somehow I did fail,” said a dejected Hamilton. “All of my supplements were tested for sport but I went ahead and shipped them to a lab in California to see if I could find out where the tainted substance came from.

“After spending US$3,000 testing the supplements that have failed with athletes before (pre-workouts and protein powders) I had to give up especially considering what’s going on in the world right now and work.”

During the sanction period, Hamilton is ineligible to participate in any capacity with any sport signatory to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, including training with teammates.

Hamilton said he changed his entire life to represent Canada on the Para-snowboard team. He quit his job, spent thousands in travel and equipment and now, he said, to have his career end like this, is heartbreaking.

“I have moved on but the media seems to be opening up the old wounds and I wish it would all go away,” he said. “Since I could not find where the substance came from, I am unable to appeal the decision and now I look like a cheater. Awesome.”

In the 2019-20 World Cup season, Hamilton had a pair of fifth-place results in snowboard cross at Kelowna’s Big White Mountain. He also placed 13th and 14th in a pair of World Cup banked slalom events in Landgraaf, in the Netherlands.

Hamilton was ranked 21st in the world in banked slalom and 29th overall for snowboardcross.

He was seriously injured in a workplace accident in Alberta in 2005 when a dump truck’s heavy box crushed Hamilton, a heavy-duty mechanic, in the lower body. A former snowboarder prior to his accident, his future wife convinced Hamilton to get back on a board as the couple went on their first date in Banff.

Hamilton moved to Vernon and spent every minute of his spare time at SilverStar Mountain Resort, a 12-minute drive from his house. He worked his way onto the national NextGen squad.

“This whole thing was supposed to put a positive spin on a bad thing (my injury),” said Hamilton. “It’s gone completely the other direction.”

READ MORE: Vernon snowboarder scores major funding grant



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Summer arrives at Big White Ski Resort

Hiking, bike trails, restaurants and more are open as of July 10

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Pianos return to Kelowna parks

The Pianos in Parks program was postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read