CFL suspends Riders' defensive lineman Leonard two games for not providing sample

Saskatchewan Roughriders run onto the field in the pregame prior to the first half of CFL football action against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, in Regina, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021 (Kayle Neis/CP).

TORONTO -- The CFL suspended defensive lineman A.C. Leonard of the Saskatchewan Roughriders for two games Friday for failing to provide a sample for drug testing.

The league said in a statement that providing a sample is outlined in the CFL-CFL Players' Association drug policy and failure to do so results in an automatic two-game suspension. The ban is effective immediately, meaning Leonard will miss the Riders' game Saturday in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers.

The CFL also announced Friday it has administered about 12,500 COVID-19 tests to Tier One personnel -- including players, coaches and support staff -- so far this season, of which 30 have come back positive.

According to the league anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is prevented from joining -- or is removed from -- team activities. They are isolated or quarantined in accordance with the CFL's return to play health and safety protocol as well as applicable government public health standards.

The league said as of this week, four of its nine teams have met the 85 per cent fully vaccinated milestone. Being fully vaccinated refers to individuals who have had their second dose for a minimum of 14 days.

At the beginning of the season, the CFLsaid 79 per cent of players across the league were fully or partially vaccinated.

The Edmonton Elks have already experienced COVID-19 issues this year, with 13 players testing positive for the virus. The outbreak forced a game against the Toronto Argonauts to be postponed from Aug. 26 to Nov. 16.

The CFL did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is staging and abbreviated 14-game season in 2021.

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