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Laurence Vincent Lapointe cleared to return to competition by anti-doping panel

Canada's Laurence Vincent Lapointe celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's C1 200m canoe race at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Welland, Ont., Tuesday, July 14, 2015. An anti-doping panel has cleared Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe to return to training and competition. The panel convened by the International Canoe Federation made the decision after it accepted that Vincent Lapointe did not knowingly take Ligandrol. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett. Aaron Lynett/The Canadian Press

An anti-doping panel has cleared top Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent Lapointe to return to training and competition ahead of her sport’s Olympic debut this summer.

The panel convened by the International Canoe Federation made the decision after it accepted that the 11-time world champion did not knowingly take ligandrol.

“We are thrilled that Laurence was cleared of any wrong-doing and can return to training with the team in Florida,” Canoe Kayak Canada chief executive officer Casey Wade said in a statement.

“This has been a very difficult period for Laurence, her partner Katie Vincent and the entire team of paddlers who have demonstrated such strength and tenacity over the last five months. We look forward to building our momentum as a team to podium success in Tokyo.”

READ MORE: Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent-Lapointe suspended for doping violation

It accepted evidence which supported that she was the victim of third-party contamination.

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The canoeist has said she gets her products from the National Team Training Centre.

Vincent Lapointe, 27, was provisionally suspended for having trace amounts of the drug in an out-of-competition doping test conducted July 29.

Ligandrol, used to treat conditions such as muscle wasting and osteoporosis, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances because it has an anabolic steroids effect.

She was subsequently suspended and was not able to compete at the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, which also doubled as a Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection event.

READ MORE: Canadian athletes slam WADA’s reinstatement of Russia

Lapointe and her lawyer, Adam Klevinas, attended a hearing before the ICF’s Doping Control Panel in Lausanne, Switzerland, to present their case in December.

Women’s sprint canoe will be in the Olympics for the first time this summer in Tokyo.

Gracenote, an international data analytics company, has predicted Vincent Lapointe will win two Olympic gold medals this year.

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