Riders DL Leonard apologizes to Rider Nation for his 3 game suspension
Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman A.C. Leonard is apologizing to fans and the team after he was suspended for three games.
Leonard failed to provide a sample for a drug test following the Riders’ Labour Day Classic game against Winnipeg on Sept. 6, which resulted in an automatic two game suspension. The 29-year-old was then handed an additional game suspension due to a verbal abuse and unacceptable behaviour towards the doping control officers.
“I want to apologize to Rider Nation. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I want to apologize to my coaches,” Leonard said on Tuesday. “I also want to say I’m appreciative of them and just working through the whole situation.”
Leonard said he was Mosaic Stadium until 2 a.m. trying to provide a urine sample and left frustrated after he couldn’t.
“I knew if I didn’t pee I knew what my consequences were. As a man I accept full responsibility and I kind of didn’t want to put my team through all of this. I kind of just want to take my suspension and get it over with and put it behind me,” Leonard said.
Leonard knows that by failing to provide a drug sample, he’ll likely be targeted more frequently for drug tests following games and at practice.
“I have nothing to hide at all. I’m willing to cooperate with the league and do whatever it takes for the rest of the season, the rest of my career if I have to test every week, that’s fine with me. I’m willing to do whatever it takes,” he said.
Riders’ veteran defensive back Ed Gainey said the team is supporting Leonard through the suspension process.
“We’re all professionals so I mean we have to deal with the consequences of that and we’re all here to support him, we’re his teammates, no ones mad at him, no one’s kicking him while he’s down,” Gainey said.
“Hopefully it was a learning experience for him. Other guys as well. They won’t have to go through that they can see him, use him as an example of what not to do.”