An American player faces suspension at the World Hockey Championships after testing positive for a banned drug.
A U.S. team source, who declined to be identified, told The Associated Press that center Corey Millen also tested positive during the 1984 Winter Olympics at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.At that time, the Americans managed to persuade the International Olympic Committee medical commission that Millen's body naturally produces a substance that shows positive when tested, the source said.
He said that American team officials were trying to prove that the banned substance still is naturally produced in Millen's body.
Swedish newspapers said today that both "the A and B tests" carried out on Millen's urine sample "showed traces of a banned substance."
The International Ice Hockey Federation called a press conference for Saturday, with President Gunther Sabetzki and medical commission chairman Dr. George Pasztor scheduled to attend.
An announcement on the doping affair is expected after the press conference.
The Swedish news agency TT reported Thursday that Millen used anabolic steroids. He could be suspended for at least 18 months if the allegations become official.
Bob Johnson, executive director of the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association, told The AP that Millen's urine sample, taken after the Americans lost to Sweden 4-2 Tuesday, "showed traces of an illegal drug."
At last year's Olympics in Seoul, Canadian Ben Johnson, the first-place finisher in the 100-meter dash, tested positive for an illegal steroid and was disqualified from the Games and stripped of the gold medal.
Millen, who plays for HC Ambri-Piotta of Switzerland, claims he is innocent and that he has not taken any drugs.
"He looks you in the eye and he says he's innocent. And I believe him," Johnson said. "We think they made a mistake and we asked for an evaluation."
"We are assuming everything is all right and he will be on the team against West Germany on Friday," U.S. coach Tim Taylor said.
Millen has played for the U.S. in the Olympics, the previous World Championships at Vienna, Austria, and the Canada Cup, but he has not played in the NHL.
"I never even had a tryout," he said before admitting that he has been approached to join the New York Rangers next season.
"They're showing some interest," Millen said.
Scott Young, a defenseman from the NHL's Hartford Whalers, who is playing for the U.S. in the tournament, tested positive at the 1987 World Championships.