Curler Jim Armstrong banned for 18 months after failing drug test

Jim Armstrong was the skip on a Canadian Paralympic curling team that won the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. - Black Press file photo
Jim Armstrong was the skip on a Canadian Paralympic curling team that won the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics.
— image credit: Black Press file photo

The already tarnished reputation of Paralympic gold medalist and retired Richmond dentist Jim Armstrong took another blow Thursday when the World Curling Federation issued him an 18-month suspension following a failed drug test.

This comes a little more than a year after Armstrong was fined $30,000 by an American court for selling counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs.

Armstrong was sanctioned by the World Curling Federation following a hearing panel's ruling of an anti-doping violation. The 18-month suspension is effective Feb. 17, 2012, the date of the panel's initial ruling.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Canadian Curling Assocation said: "The CCA believes doping has no place in sport and furthermore fair and equal competition is an essential tenet of sport and why our association makes significant efforts to see that effective national and international anti-doping education and doping control programs are in place."

Armstrong tested positive for Tamoxifen, and in a statement to the panel, he "strongly denied" having knowingly taken the prohibited substance.

He offered a possible explanation that drugs belonging to his late wife of 30 years, Carleen, might have been mixed up with his own medication. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2006, and one of her treatments was Tamoxifen.

He noted he shared an ensuite with his wife, and that he takes 10 prescription medications.

He also noted that the potential side effects of Tamoxifen, which would have put him at more medical risk, is the main reason why he strongly denies knowingly taking the drug.

Armstrong, 60, was the skip on a Canadian Paralympic curling team that won the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics. He pled guilty in October of 2010 to charges relating to an intercepted package containing 2,544 counterfeit Viagra pills and 260 counterfeit Cialis pills. The package, intercepted by U.S. customs and border protection agents, was addressed to his late wife, Carleen, and delivered to a Blaine, Wash. mailbox used by Jim and his son Gregory, 29.

Jim Armstrong was arrested outside the mailbox store after picking up the package and examining its contents in the store.

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