Social media has no conscience. Modern media is a 24 hour monster that eats everything in site. It chews up stories and images and throws them out.
If one can survive the hysteria, the comments and the ugliness for the 24 hour cycle, there are many times that the focus or topic of focus can survive.
I am not so sure with Canada’s Shawn Barber.
You remember Shawn Barber. He had a fantastic 2015 season, setting Canadian record, winning the World Championships and challenging Renaud Lavillenie.
Then, he finished poorly in Rio and we wondered what was going on?
Well, we just found out.
Have you ever seen a train wreck?
Well, the following story is such an example.
Shawn Barber tested positive, a few days after the Canadian championships, for cocaine, last July.
Cocaine is, yes, sports fans, a banned substance. Remember how Javier Sotomayor, the WR High Jumper, was banned over cocaine a couple of decades ago?
Well, this one gets confusing. In reading the transcript, I felt that I needed to take a shower afterwards. It was like reading a bad porn screenplay (I know, porn is not about screenplays, but, just play along, okay?).
Mr. Barber was in need of a sexual outlet. He put an ad up on a prominent social media platform. He met a young woman and young man. Again, looking for an outlet, Mr. Barber claims, and this was supported by the young woman and her escort. Mr. Barber claims no money exchanged hands and that he and the young woman kissed for less than thirty minutes.
What, no cigarette?
Well, that does not seem satisfying.
The young woman told the Athletics Canada folks that she had used cocaine, without the knowledge of Shawn Barber. She gave Athletics Canada the information that they needed. Athletics Canada decided that Mr. Barber was justing trying to have some fun, and not trying to ingest cocaine, which was ingested by the young woman in question and provided to Mr. Barber in a series of kisses.
The story does sound a bit, well, preposterous, but Athletics Canada took away Mr. Barber’s national title and allowed him to compete in the Olympics. It also sounds so wierd that it could have actually happened.
You can imagine Shawn Barber’s exhaustion after such a scary tribunal, with the chance of loosing four years of competition. Apparently, cocaine can be passed along through kissing. I only thought that could happen snorting said substance off someone’s backside ( I think I saw it in a movie).
Now, I am no doctor, but this seems a lot to pay for the need for a sexual outlet. I hope that next time, Shawn Barber, or Athletics Canada just gets Mr. Barber an honest to god, credit card accepting, escort.
I am still a bit, well, confused. Athletics Canada tried to fast track and keep this quiet. If not for one of the websites that breaks sordid stories, we would have never found out about this sad episode.
Please read the story below and let me know what I am missing:
Updated at 1:42pm ET with statement from Shawn Barber
First and foremost, Athletics Canada is pleased to see the system works, CCES and the anti-doping program are important pillars in ensuring clean and fair sport. The positive finding in this case was found to be of no fault of the athlete. We are thankful that the proper procedures recognized the presence of a prohibited substance, but also in ensuring due process to the athlete in coming to a fair and reasonable decision.
As per the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada ruling (full decision available at below link); “A review and consideration of the evidence presented by the parties in this matter lead the Panel to conclude that the Athlete has satisfied the burden of establishing, on a balance of probability, that he bears no fault or negligence in committing a violation…”.
This has been a learning experience for Shawn, he is a young athlete learning how to compete on the field of play, and prepare away from it. As per the ruling Shawn will forfeit his Canadian title and Championship record established on July 9 at the Canadian Track and Field Championships.