( boring bits and anti-steroid propaganda removed )
When Joe Surgenor was ushered into the head football coach’s office last month, he knew the jig was up. It took only a few minutes for him to break into tears and acknowledge there wasn’t any need for a drug test; he’d been using Winstrol, an anabolic steroid.
Soon others from the University of Waterloo football team would admit to doing the same.
“There are a few of us who self-declared,” Mr. Surgenor said yesterday, acknowledging his part in what could be the biggest drug scandal to hit Canadian Interuniversity Sports. “It doesn’t feel good.”
Mr. Surgenor, a 6-foot, 226-pound defensive lineman from Barrie, Ont., has been banned for two years from the CIS for admitting he used drugs. He agreed to tell his story for two reasons: to warn other athletes that the risk of using steroids isn’t worth the price of being caught, and to state that what happened at Waterloo is happening elsewhere across the country.
“To be perfectly honest, anyone who doesn’t think there are seven to 13 players on every team [using performance-enhancing drugs] in the CIS, you’re kidding yourself,” said Mr. Surgenor, 21. “There’s at least that number. I don’t think the CIS really wants to find out what’s going on. They don’t want to know the answer [to how many athletes are taking steroids].”
Mr. Surgenor was in his second year with the Warriors and utterly committed to his dream of one day playing professional football. He worked out, ate as best he could and even spent hundreds of dollars on a personal trainer.
Dissatisfied with the results, he decided to take the plunge and use steroids. He wouldn’t say where he got them, but insisted it had nothing to do with Mr. Zettler. In fact, Mr. Surgenor said many on the team were surprised when they heard Mr. Zettler had been charged and banned from campus.
“As far as I know, he wasn’t trying to sell to anyone on the team,” Mr. Surgenor said. “There was a select few who knew [that there were users on the Warriors]. It was kept quiet. It wasn’t something we tried to focus on.”
Mr. Surgenor, a transfer student athlete from Yuba College in Marysville, Calif., said he was once approached by Warriors’ head coach Dennis McPhee, who asked if his hard-charging defensive player was using anything illegal. Mr. Surgenor said no, which made his April meeting with Mr. McPhee all the more painful.
“I walked into coach McPhee’s office, told him everything and started crying. He was disappointed because I had lied. I felt sick to my stomach,” said Mr. Surgenor, who then told his parents everything. “They understood but they were disappointed, too.”
Mr. Surgenor will stay at Waterloo and has not given up on playing football again. He will continue to train with two notable exceptions – no more drugs, no more hiding the truth.
“I was taking Winstrol, which is essentially a fat cutter. I wanted to be leaner and stronger and I kept it quiet,” said Mr. Surgenor. “It’s really unfortunate the prestige of the Waterloo name has been tainted by our actions. I’d like everyone to know it’s just not worth it.”