OTTAWA – Former National Champion Amateur wrestler and Great North Wrestling professional grappler Devon ‘’HANNIBAL’’ Nicholson has been re-instated to his City of Ottawa employment after an arbitration panel reversed his termination from an Ottawa Recreation facility. The termination occurred when he was on unpaid medical leave while undergoing a 36-week experimental chemotherapy-like Hepatitis C treatment called ‘’Incivek Triple Therapy.’’ Despite the powerful drugs effectiveness in ultimately curing Nicholson’s Hep C they have since been taking off the market due to severe side effect and cost issues.
Nicholson spoke to NNL yesterday and said, ‘’I am relieved the nearly three-and-a-half-year arbitration process is finally over. Taking into consideration I had no history of discipline on my record and there was no violence or threat of violence involved in the approximately two minute ‘incident’ that occurred I believe this was blown way out of proportion and could have been avoided with a proper initial investigation by the City.’’
According the arbitration decision released last week, Nicholson was at the Centre to pick up his common-law-partner who worked as a lifeguard at the facility at the time. Working at the front desk was Nicholson’s former business partner (Kai Liu) who he was then involved in a business dispute with related to the ex-partners refusal to hand over Hepatitis C treatment update and wrestling footage that Nicholson claimed belong to him. The dispute was ultimately resolved though litigation and Nicholson now has all his Hep C treatment updates posted online.
According to the decision Nicholson slammed his fist down on the front desk as he passed by the Mr. Lui at a distance of approximately 6 feet. He engaged in the action without looking at the former partner and without braking stride. A short time later Mr. Nicholson headed towards the exit again passing by the front desk at a distance of several feet and told the former partner he would be ‘’hearing from the grievers lawyer.’’
This argument took place while Mr. Nicholson was cleared to be off work by the City of Ottawa due to being on the ‘’Triple Therapy’’ Medications of Incivek, Interferon and Ribivirin. Some of the more serious side effects associated with these drugs are: nausea, vomiting, rash, blisters, itching, itchy eyes, haemorrhoids, discomfort, burning or itching around the anus, dizziness, weakness, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, drug reactions, toxic epidermal necrolysis, flue like symptoms, low blood counts, hair loss, diarrhea, mouth sores, depressions, muscle pain, mood swings, anxiety, injection site reactions, weight loss, stomach pain, constipation, numbness or tingling of hands or feet, insomnia, bone pain, swelling , dry skin, vision changes, loss of body function, thoughts of suicide, liver damage, severe skin reactions, persistent fevers, congestion, feelings of discomfort, sadness, headaches, irregular heartbeats, lack of appetite, muscle pain, nervousness, poor concentration, emotional overreactions, stomach pains, restlessness, shaking, shivering, unusual sweating, muscle cramps, bleeding gums and tightness in chest.
The arbitrators agreed that Nicholson’s total time in the building the night of March 28th 2013 was no more than 2-3 minutes and said there was a ‘’heated exchange’’ between the wrestler and his girlfriend in the pool office in between his entrance and exit to the building.
‘’The ‘heated exchange’ between my partner and I in the pool office was never initially reported by her herself. I was only in the office a matter of seconds and we left in the same vehicle minutes later. I believe our brief pool office conversation that night was overemphasized by the City lawyer to try to magnify his case,’’ Nicholson said to NNL.
In their decision, the arbitrators stated “Despite the substantial leeway accorded the City in this regard, the evidence does not establish that the grievor has ever committed any acts of violence, at least outside of the ring, towards anyone. Finally, to be clear, we are not persuaded that any employee, including Mr. Liu, had any reason to fear physical violence from the griever nor were his actions intended to instil any such fear.’’ They ultimately found that ‘’In all circumstances, we find a two-month suspension to be appropriate.’’
Nicholson could still be owed back pay compensation from the city for the years he was out of work and has also filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario regarding the City of Ottawa matter.
The current Great North Wrestling Canadian Champion still wrestles regularly and says there is talk of a return of GNW to Thunder Bay in June 2017, this time at Port Arthur Stadium. Nicholson’s YouTube channel ‘’The HANNIBAL TV’’ now has more than 27k subscribers and more than 17 million total views.
Devon also has a ‘’Devon Nicholson’s Hep C Fight’’ YouTube channel that he posted his treatment updates on during his 2nd round of therapy. He made a ‘’3 year post treatment’’ update post where his discusses some of the subjects related to this article which can be viewed below. He encourages people who still have the disease to ‘’Get the Hep C out of their systems’’ and ‘’Rid the world of Hepatitis C!’’