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IOC issues a reprimand against Slovakian ice hockey player Lubomir Visnovsky

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that it has issued a reprimand against Lubomir Visnovsky, an ice hockey player from Slovakia for an anti-doping rule violation. 

On 24 February, 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. The adverse analytical finding of the laboratory analysis of the A Sample (A Sample # 1) indicated the presence of pseudoephedrine, in a concentration greater than the WADA limit of 150 micrograms per millilitre. On 26 February, the Athlete was requested to provide a pre-competition urine sample (A Sample # 2) for a doping control (i.e. before his upcoming semi-final hockey match later that day) as well as a post-competition urine sample (A Sample # 3) (i.e. after his semi-final hockey match). Both samples were negative.

The IOC set up a Disciplinary Commission (DC) on 26 February. The DC held a hearing on 27 February. During the hearing, it was explained that the Athlete 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 was clearly explained that the Athlete had indicated he was taking Advil Cold & Sinus on his Doping Control Form and that he had not ingested the substance with the intent to enhance his sporting performance.

The Disciplinary Commission unanimously concluded that the Athlete had committed an anti-doping rule violation but also noted that:

(i) the Athlete declared on his Doping Control Form that he was taking Advil Cold & Sinus;

(ii) the Athlete stated he was unaware that Advil Cold & Sinus contained a prohibited substance; admitted the use of a prohibited substance; confirmed the result of the A Sample # 1, and therefore refrained from asking that the B Sample # 1 be opened for analysis;

(iii) the Athlete sought the advice from medical staff of his professional NHL team and the Slovakian national team doctor, who were aware that the Athlete had been taking Advil Cold & Sinus;

(iv) WADA did not include pseudoephedrine when it first published its List in 2004, and only recently introduced pseudoephedrine to the 2010 List of prohibited substances as a Specified Substance;

(v) the concentration of the prohibited substance, pseudoephedrine, in the Athlete’s A Sample # 2 and A Sample # 3 were approximately 3.0 micrograms and 0.5 micrograms per millilitre, respectively, which were well below the WADA limit (150 micrograms per millilitre) for an adverse analytical finding, before and after the date of the Athlete’s semi-final match;

(vi) the Athlete was totally open and cooperative; and

(vii) 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 Disciplinary Commission therefore took the following decision:

I. The Athlete, Lubomir Visnovsky, Slovakia, Ice Hockey, committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to Article 2.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code and Articles 2 and 12 of the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, 2010;

II. The Athlete is issued a reprimand;
III. To recommend to the IOC Executive Board that it open a disciplinary procedure against Dr Dalimir Jancovic, the Slovak national team doctor;

IV. To forward this Decision to the International Ice Hockey Federation for any further  action within its own competence, including with regard to Mr Ken Lowe, as it may  deem appropriate; and

V. This decision shall enter into force immediately.

The full decision can be found here.

Note to the editors:

Under the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, testing takes place under the IOC's auspices from 4 to 28 February. Within that period, the IOC systematically performs tests before and after events. After each event, the IOC systematically carries out tests on the top five athletes plus two at random.
For the duration of the Vancouver Games, the IOC will carry more than 2,000 tests, of which around 500 will apply to urine EPO detection and 400 will be blood tests.

As of 26 February:
Pre-competition tests: 891 (639 urine / 252 blood)
Post-competition: 1134 (962 urine / 172 blood)


For more information, please contact the IOC Communications Department:
Tel: +41 79 637 3017, 604 404 2554 or 604 404 2553, e-mail:


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