CALGARY — Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber competed at the 2016 Rio Summer Games in spite of testing positive in July for cocaine.
In a decision rendered Aug. 11 but released on Thursday, the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada ruled Barber inadvertently ingested the banned substance by kissing a woman he met through posting an ad in the “casual encounter” section of Craigslist.
The tryst occurred at an Edmonton hotel the night before Barber took part at the Canadian track and field championships and Rio Selection Trials at Foote Field.
Considered a medal favourite heading into Rio, Barber finished a disappointing 10th.
Turns out he had plenty of reason for distraction.
According to his testimony at a doping dispute panel hearing, Barber initially rejected a couple of replies to his ad that he deemed “untrustworthy” but replied to a man who sent him a picture of an attractive woman described as a mother of two.
The woman testified at the hearing because “she felt horrible about what happened” and would hate to be the reason for Barber not achieving his dream.
According to her testimony, the woman snorted cocaine and consumed four or five drinks before hooking up around 9 p.m. with the world champion.
The sexual encounter lasted about 30 minutes, and they apparently kissed on and off throughout.