Slovak hockey player fails test, reprimanded

By Karolos Grohmann

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Slovakian ice hockey player Lubomir Visnovsky tested positive for the banned drug pseudoephedrine at the Vancouver Olympics and received a reprimand, the International Olympic Committee said Sunday.

Visnovsky is the first athlete to test positive for drugs since the February 12-28 Games started.

"On Feb 24, the athlete was requested to provide a urine sample immediately following the completion of his participation in the men's ice hockey play-offs qualification round," it said in a statement, hours before the closing ceremony of the Olympics.

"The adverse analytical finding of the laboratory analysis of the A Sample indicated the presence of pseudoephedrine, in a concentration greater than the WADA limit of 150 micrograms per milliliter."

He was again tested two days later and turned in a negative sample.

The IOC said Visnovsky had been taking a cold medicine and had declared it on his doping form.

He had also sought advice from the team doctor regarding the Advil cold and sinus medicine he had taken.

"The athlete was totally open and cooperative and this was the athlete's first violation during his long career, having participated in the World Championship on four occasions since 2002 and one previous Olympic Games in 2006," the IOC said.

"He had been taking Advil Cold & Sinus to combat flu-like symptoms after consulting with Ken Lowe, a trainer for his professional hockey team, the Edmonton Oilers, and Dr Dalimir Jancovic, a physician for his Slovakian national team."

It did recommend to the IOC Executive Board though to launch a disciplinary procedure against Jancovic and told the international ice hockey federation to take any action in relation to Lowe.

Russian ice hockey player Svetlana Terenteva had also tested positive for drugs in Vancouver prior to the Games start, on Feb 6, and also escaped a ban as she took a mild stimulant found in an over-the-counter nose spray.

(Editing by Miles Evans)