University of Windsor Lancers linebacker Chris Deneau insists he is not a cheater. The 19-year-old Deneau was banned from sports for two years Tuesday by Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

In announcing a series of anti-doping measures, the CIS also announced that Deneau was one of two CIS football players whose urine sample tested positive for a banned substance during a June out-of-season test conducted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

Acadia University third-year linebacker Taylor Shadgett’s, who is from Barrie, tested positive for Stanozol and was also banned for two years.

“I couldn’t believe it,” the 19-year-old Deneau said of his reaction to being told he had failed the test.

CCES officials showed up at his Amherstburg home June 12 for the test and Deneau didn’t hesitate to comply. Coming off a case of tonsillitis, the Villanova high school grad informed officials that he was taking a cough syrup along with an over-the-counter weight supplement to try and put back some of the 13 pounds he had lost from his 222-pound frame.

The six-foot-one, Deneau feels sure that the supplement is where the Methyl-1-testosterone, which is the banned substance found in his system, originated.

“I was not trying to gain an edge,” Deneau said. “I was just trying to put weight back on. “I’m still trying to understand how I can be banned for something I bought at a health food store. It’s not like I got it from a buddy in a back alley.”

Deneau said a sample of the compound has been sent to a private lab for analysis, which he hopes will help clear his name. “I called a couple of different places to try and make sure it was all right,” Deneau said. “They made you feel like you were stupid. I took their word, which was my mistake.”

It’s the first positive test for a University of Windsor athlete, but the Lancers will stand behind him. “We’re going to support him,” Lancers head coach Mike Morencie said. “He’s one of our guys.”

Deneau, who is entering his second year, can continue with his studies, but cannot participate in any football functions. He’s eligible to return for the 2012 season.

Although he feels an over-the-counter product has cost him two years of playing time, Deneau firmly believes in the CIS testing program.

“I believe it’s wrong to take drugs and performance enhancers,” Deneau said. “I don’t take shortcuts. I work hard and I want to see athletes (that do cheat) caught.”

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