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CFL player accused of sexual assault is HIV positive


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TORONTO ? (AP) ? Police disclosed that a Canadian Football League player is HIV positive after he was charged with sexual assault, saying they thought a public health warning about his health was necessary.


Linebacker Trevis Smith of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and formerly of the University of Alabama was arrested Oct. 28 in Regina, Saskatchewan, and charged with aggravated sexual assault. Smith denies the charges and will plead not guilty, said his lawyer, Paul Harasen.


He was freed on bail and ordered by a judge Nov. 2 to practice safe sex, tell all future partners he's HIV positive and surrender his passport.


The case has raised questions over privacy in the workplace, fears some players might have about playing against an HIV-positive opponent and an employer's responsibly for protecting the public.


The Canadian Public Health Association is offering information packets to all nine CFL teams to help educate players and management about HIV and AIDS.


"If there's material that can help that process ... then we would be more than happy to take some information they have,'' CFL commissioner Tom Wright said.


Smith, a starting middle linebacker, was placed on the Roughriders' disabled list after the arrest and hasn't played since. The team's season ended Sunday with a playoff loss to Montreal.


The Roughriders said they were contacted by police last year about the possibility of charges but kept quiet, citing confidentiality reasons.


Coach Danny Barrett said he, Smith and general manager Roy Shivers decided to keep the player on the disabled list.


"He is still dealing with the situation and spending time with his family, and so we move forward from there and he will remain there until further notice,'' Barrett said.


The 29-year-old Smith has been with the Roughriders the past seven seasons. He is married and has two children.

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