Near-Missed Connection: Cocaine Craigslist Romp Didn't Keep Canadian Pole Vaulter Out of Olympics

Craigslist Edmonton sounds wild.

by Sean Newell
Oct 6 2016, 3:30pm

Shawn Barber. Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber, a gold-medal favorite heading into the Rio Olympics, almost didn't make it because he tested positive for cocaine, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances. The test was just weeks before the Olympics were set to start, and yet Barber was allowed to compete anyway because he had a pretty good excuse: he mistakenly had cocaine during a sex romp with a woman he met on Craigslist. The Toronto Star has more:

"He was allowed to compete because his sport court hearing determined that he inadvertently ingested the banned substance during a tryst with a woman that he found on Craigslist in Edmonton the night before he competed at the Canadian Olympic trials."

There is so much to love about this sentence. First of all, who still uses Craigslist?! Canadian pole vaulters and cocaine saboteurs, I guess. And murderers. Murderers definitely still use Craigslist. So, there's a silver lining for Barber—at least he's still alive.

Second, I don't know how a person "inadvertently ingests" cocaine—I've seen movies, OK?—but it must have been a wild night, or at least it likely became a wild night. Regardless, the Sport Court not only heard this defense but actually bought it.

Barber: ...and that's what happened.

Court: Just so I have this clear: you met a woman on Craigslist Edmonton the night before the Olympics Trials...

Barber: Yes.

Court: Had what newspapers will later describe as a "tryst" with this woman...

Barber: Uh, yeah.

Court: And at some point you inadvertently...

Barber: [sweating]

Court: ...ingested...

Barber: [wipes brow]

Court: ...cocaine?

Barber: Mm-hm.

Court: Excuse me?

Barber: Mm-hm, your honor.

Court: Sounds legit. Case dismissed.

Shawn Barber did not medal at the Rio Olympics.

[Toronto Star]

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