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Return of the Lemonator: Despite Recent Retirement and Indefinite Suspension, DE Shawn Lemon Returns to Montreal Alouettes Training Camp

Defensive end Shawn Lemon arrived at the Montreal Alouettes’ training camp on Tuesday much to the surprise of many surrounding the CFL world. Lemon had announced his retirement in April before the CFL announced he was suspended indefinitely following a gambling-related investigation 2 weeks later.

After winning his third Grey Cup with Montreal this past season, Lemon signed a 1 season contract extension in December. He announced his retirement on April 10. On April 24 the CFL announced that they were suspending Shawn Lemon indefinitely for wagering on CFL games in 2021.

Lemon is eligible to return to the practice with the Alouettes due to the fact that the CFLPA is filing a grievance challenging the league’s decision surrounding his indefinite suspension.

“I’m going to let the due process work itself out,” Lemon stated. “I’m excited to be out here with these guys, my teammates. It’s like riding a bike. I feel very comfortable with this team and this system.”

Last season Lemon contributed 26 tackles, 9 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, and a touchdown over 13 regular season games. He added 3 sacks over the Alouettes Grey Cup run.

“We’re not disappointed that he’s here,” General Manager Danny Maciocia stated. “We’re happy. His case is being appealed. We’ll respect the process, and we’ll wait for the league to tell us how this will end.”

“It’s arbitrating now,” head coach Jason Maas added. “So in the meantime, we have Shawn, we’re welcoming Shawn. I love Shawn, I think we all do. Love having him here. “His leadership, his presence in the building is felt, and obviously came out today ready to play already, so he’s ready to go. We’re excited to have him here.”

The CFL leadership stated its displeasure in the return of the Lemonator following the CFLPA’s decision to appeal the suspicion. The suspension came following its findings that Lemon had bet on games in 2021. The investigation stated there was no evidence found that the wagers had any impact on the games themselves.

“The CFL is disappointed that the Players’ Association would challenge a decision so fundamental to the integrity of our league,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie stated. “​The league’s rules prohibiting CFL-related gambling in 2021 were made abundantly clear to all players at the time, yet Mr. Lemon knowingly ignored those rules.”

“The prohibition of wagering on the CFL by CFL personnel, including players, is critical to the reputation and standing of the league.​ ​The CFL will vigorously defend its position at the arbitration hearing.”

Lemon has played in 148 games over his CFL career contributing 257 tackles, 101 sacks, and 31 forced fumbles. He is currently tied for 12th all-time in sacks in CFL history. He became only the 13th player to reach 100 sacks over a CFL career last season.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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