Canada's Grant Jr. Out for World Championship
|John Grant Jr. won't play in the 2014 FIL World Championship after being denied a medical exemption to use prescription medication. (John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com)|
The Canadian Lacrosse Association announced Friday that attackman John Grant Jr. will not be playing for Canada in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championships that begin Thursday in Denver. He will be joining Coach Randy Mearns’ staff on the sidelines to help Canada win its third World Championship and will be replaced on the 23-man roster by Burlington, Ontario native Jordan MacIntosh.
Grant, a veteran of four World Championships and widely regarded as one of the finest players to ever play the game, suffers from a medical condition that requires prescription medication as a part of hormone therapy (testosterone), according to Canada Lacrosse. His condition arises from concussions sustained during his playing career and a staph infection that nearly took his life.
Grant's application for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), which would have allowed him to play in the tournament while on the medication, was denied by the FIL's TUE Committee. A panel of independent physcians, in conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency, reviewed the TUE application. Grant appealed the decision but was denied this week.
Limited details of Grant’s condition and medication became public in 2012 during the Mann Cup. His use of the prescription medication was deemed valid by the Medical Review Board of the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sports (CCES). CCES determined that John Grant did not commit an anti-doping violation under the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. The two-time NLL MVP and three-time MLL MVP has competed while on the prescription medication while playing for the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL and the Denver Outlaws of the MLL. He has and continues to be compliant with both leagues’ drug policies.
“I am disappointed that I will not be able to represent Canada on the field next week but I will do everything I can to help my team get the gold medal from the sidelines,” Grant said. “This medication has helped me live a normal life and return to the playing field. I couldn’t imagine my life without my family, and I couldn’t imagine my life without lacrosse. If there was a way I could stop taking the medication without risks to my health, I would. But, based on the advice of my doctors, I cannot.”
Director of Team Canada David Huntley said, “John Grant Jr. is one of our greatest sportsmen and a true ambassador of our game. He has conducted himself with honesty and integrity throughout this application process. His health is priority number one here so although we are disappointed that he will not be able to play, we will respect the decision of the Board knowing that this is in the best interest of John and his family.”
Joey Harris, CLA President, said “Sometimes the line between sports and life gets very blurry as we see every day in the sporting world, be it pro or amateur. It’s the individuals that have abused the system in the past that paint those who do everything by the book with the same brush. I have always had the utmost respect for John’s skills and abilities in our game and now I can certainly add that level of respect to the man himself on doing everything by the book. It is hard to replace a John Grant, however we do feel that the depth in Canada has never been greater and I am confident our players will step it up even more.”
Jordan MacIntosh, who plays professionally for the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse and the Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League, will join Canada as it begins preparation this weekend. The 24-year-old graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology is a versatile player whose athleticism allows him to play multiple positions.
“You don’t replace a player like ‘Junior’,” Mearns said. “Fortunately for us, we are able to have him take on a new role with our staff and he will bring his veteran leadership to our guys from the sidelines. Jordan will bring another dimension to our team and we are thrilled that he will be rejoining us.”
Canada takes on the United States in the tournament’s opening game on Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
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