World champion pole vaulter Shawnacy Barber was allowed to compete in the Olympics after testing positive for cocaine, after an arbitrator ruled it was ingested accidentally. And yes, the excuse that got him out of it is as wild as you might expect.
The 22-year-old Canadian had a disappointing Olympics, finishing 10th. The ruling that he wouldn’t be suspended from the Olympics (or receive a four-year ban, like the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports argued) came two days before the Olympics, but wasn’t released publicly until Thursday.
OK, but who cares — how do you accidentally consume cocaine? According to Barber, he solicited for sex on CraigsList the night before the Canadian Olympics trials in July, asking for a drug- and disease-free “professional” woman to help relieve some stress. Unknown to Barber, the woman snorted cocaine both before arriving at his hotel and then again in the bathroom of his hotel. Barber’s positive cocaine ruling came from kissing the woman and was not intentional, the arbitration panel ruled. The CCES accepted this explanation and still argued for a four-year ban, but Barber’s case was helped by the fact he declined alcohol offered to him by the woman, and that his CraigsList ad specified a “drug-free” woman.
That said, Barber’s win at the Canadian Olympics qualifier when he tested positive was revoked.