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March 12, 2018

Marcus Thigpen suspended two games for violating drug policy

Saskatchewan Roughriders tailback/returner Marcus Thigpen was suspended for two games by the CFL on Monday for violating the CFL/CFLPA drug policy.

Thigpen tested positive for the banned substance dehydrochloromethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid. The sample was collected during random in-competition testing in November.

“We are disappointed in Marcus and that he has tested positive for a banned substance,” Roughriders head coach-GM Chris Jones said in a statement. “We have been in conversation with Marcus and the CFL for clarity and accept the league’s decision and corresponding two-game suspension.

“Our organization fully supports the CFL/CFLPA policy preventing the use of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Under the terms of the league’s policy, a player who tests positive receives a two-game suspension for his first violation, a nine-game ban for a second infraction, a one-year suspension for a third violation, and a lifetime ban for a fourth positive test. This is Thigpen’s first violation.

A suspended player is ineligible to play in regular-season or post-season games during his ban. It’s up to the player’s team to decide if he can be involved in other team activities, such as mini-camp or training camp.

Thigpen, a 31-year-old product of Detroit, signed with the Roughriders on Sept. 12. He appeared in two regular-season games, registering seven carries for 32 yards and one touchdown, two catches for 31 yards and one TD, three punt returns for 77 yards and one kickoff return for 53 yards.

He started at tailback for Saskatchewan in the East Division semifinal and rushed 15 times for 169 yards and a touchdown in a 31-20 victory over the host Ottawa Redblacks on Nov. 12.

A week later, he had seven carries for 34 yards, three kickoff returns for 54 yards and two catches for 16 yards in the Roughriders’ 25-21 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in the East final.

Thigpen began his CFL career with the Roughriders in 2009, but never got off the practice roster. He was released after training camp in 2010 and signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, with whom he spent two seasons.

He then played 50 career regular-season games in the NFL before returning to Saskatchewan last fall.