Bree In The Clear
May 29, 2008
Craig Lord

The Irish international's explanation after an adverse doping-test finding has been accepted: he took a cold remedy bought in the USA

The full statement frome those representing Andrew Bree, of Ireland, who is now clear to race at the Olympic Games in Beijing:

The doping panel of FINA, the world governing body for swimming has today accepted Andrew Bree’ s explanation regarding his recent adverse finding for a banned substance at the European Championships in Hungary in December 2007.

Andrew used an over the counter Vicks Nasal Inhaler which he purchased in the USA; the US version of this product contains a banned substance and the FINA doping panel has stated it is ‘convinced that the use of Levmethamfetamine was not intended to enhance his performance’ and that Andrew had gone to ‘all possible lengths to check that the medical product that he was using contained no such banned substance’.

Having accepted Andrew’s explanation and noted his open and frank approach to the issue; the panel has issued him today with a reprimand and warning; the least possible sanction open to it according to its rules.

Andrew is delighted and relieved that the outcome is favourable and that his two month ordeal is over, he said: 'This is a huge relief that my ordeal is now over and I can continue with my preparations for Beijing. These last two months have been an extremely difficult and stressful time for both myself and my family and I am thrilled for everybody that this judgment has vindicated me. I have always opposed the use of drugs in sport and will continue to do so and I am deeply grateful for the support I have received from my family and a wide circle of friends and fellow swimmers who never doubted me over these last few months. And of course I would not be where I am now if it hadn’t been for the extremely professional job delivered by my legal and scientific advisors, solicitor, Andrew Coonan, barrister, Dr Neville Cox, and scientist, Dr Mike Wheeler. I am also grateful to FINA and its Doping Panel for the efficient and speedy way in which this case has been conducted.'

Andrew is the only Irish swimmer so far to have made the ‘A’ qualifying time for the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

On May 20^th – Andrew Bree made a full submission to FINA Doping Panel including:

- a personal letter from Andrew Bree

- a legal submission setting out Andrew Bree’s case

- a report from leading chemical pathologist Dr Michael wheeler

- various character references

- photographs of the labeling of a medicinal product, the Vick Vapour Inhaler which Andrew Bree had used.

It was on the basis of this submission that the FINA doping panel made its judgment (1/08) issued today with Harm Beyer (Ger), Chairman, Peter Kerr (AUS), Member, Toshiro Ueyanagi (JPN), Member, presiding.