Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association

August 11, 2006 15:36 ET

Christiane Ayotte to Receive the CMA Medal of Honour

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 11, 2006) - On August 23, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will present the 2006 CMA Medal of Honour to Christiane Ayotte, from Montreal, Quebec, for her social commitment to proper use of medication, drug-free sports, and her outstanding contribution to advancing anti-doping research.

The CMA's Medal of Honour recognizes personal contributions to: advancing medical research, medical education, health care organization and health education of the public; service to the people of Canada in raising the standards of health care delivery in Canada; and service to the profession in the field of medical organization.

"I'm proud of the Canadian Medical Association's recognition and accept with enthusiasm the Medal of Honour on behalf of all those who believe in and work toward protecting the health and integrity of all Canadian athletes and citizens," said Ms. Christiane Ayotte.

Christiane Ayotte entered university at age 17 to study chemistry and organic chemistry at the University of Montreal, earning her master's degree in 1978 and qualifying for her PhD in 1983. Following two years of postdoctoral studies in mass spectrometry at l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), she joined its doping control laboratory as a research associate responsible for the development of methods, research projects, screening and confirmation procedures of androgenic anabolic steroids.

Following the 1983 scandal at the Pan-American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, when 17 athletes (including two Canadians) tested positive for anabolic steroids and others withdrew because they knew onsite drug tests were being conducted, Canada decided to develop its own anti-doping policy and program, and Christiane Ayotte put all her energy into drug detection.

In the early 1990s, after she was appointed professor and director of the Doping Control Laboratory at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier in Montreal, she represented Canada on the research group of the Council of Europe's Anti-doping Convention. Since then she has served on several international committees on drugs in sports, and has been involved in the development of an accreditation program for the world's doping control laboratories. She also has been a member and scientific advisor to the doping commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations since 1995.

Christiane Ayotte is the director of the only Canadian laboratory accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and she was instrumental in WADA's decision to select Montreal for its headquarters. In addition to her research projects, she often is called into difficult cases to identify and analyze new drugs. She was involved with WADA's Health, Medical and Research Committee for many years, and in 2002 she was invited to be a member of the IOC Medical Commission for the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.

In Canada she has employed her expertise in the service of the RCMP and Quebec minor hockey. In addition to her international acclaim, her work, public appearances and interventions have made her a celebrity in Quebec.

Christiane Ayotte is the 23rd recipient of the CMA Medal of Honour, the highest award bestowed upon a person who is not a member of the medical profession. She will receive this award at a special ceremony at the Stratford Town Hall in Charlottetown, PEI as part of the CMA's 139th annual meeting.

(Visit the CMA website at cma.ca for full biographical notes on Christiane Ayotte)

Contact Information

  • CMA
    Carole Lavigne
    Manager, Media Relations
    (613) 731-8610 or 1-800-663-7336 ext. 1266