Tri-City Americans

WHL player suspended for doping

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Hockey League and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) announced Monday that Spencer Asuchak of the Prince George Cougars was assessed an eight-game suspension for an anti-doping rule violation.

The violation resulted from a urine sample collected from Asuchak during in-competition doping control in December 2010 which revealed the presence of methylhexaneamine, a prohibited stimulant.

Asuchak, 19, is a native of Kamloops, British Columbia. This season, the left winger has recorded 15 goals and nine assists in 42 games for Prince George.

"In reviewing this matter, we are completely satisfied that the player used a supplement which had been purchased over the counter at a retail outlet and had no knowledge that it contained a prohibited stimulant under our national CHL Anti-Doping Policy," stated Ron Robison, CHL Vice President and Western Hockey League Commissioner.

The Everett Herald reported that Asuchak is the first WHL player to be suspended for testing positive for a banned substance since the league instituted its drug-testing program during the 2008-09 season.

Methylhexaneamine is banned in-competition under the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List, which is recognized by the CHL. In Canada, methylhexaneamine is not an ingredient in medications licensed by Health Canada but reportedly found in many fat-burning supplements aimed at body builders.

Asuchak’s suspension came a week after two Ontario Hockey League players were suspended eight games, also for testing positive for methylhexaneamine.

Those players, who were the first players in the CHL to be suspended for an anti-doping violation, allegedly consumed the substance in an energy drink.

"This violation once again underscores the potential dangers of supplement use," said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES. "Athletes must exercise extreme caution when considering the use of supplements, as ultimately they are responsible for what substances are in the products they consume."