What's buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Second Latvian hockey player failed Sochi anti-doping test

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

View photo


Getty Images

The Latvian men's hockey team was the Cinderella of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, reaching the quarterfinals and putting a scare into Canada before falling 2-1 to the eventual gold medalists.

In the two months since their tournament ended, two separate positive doping tests has put a damper on the wonderful two weeks the Latvians provided the hockey world.

On Friday, the IOC announced that Ralfs Freibergs, a defenseman who played in five games, had his A and B samples test positive for an anabolic androgenic steroid. He was tested immediately following Latvia's elimination by Canada on Feb. 19, and after an April 4 hearing it was determined he should be punished.

According to the IOC ruling, Freibergs, who plays collegiately at Bowling Green, will have his eighth place diploma withdrawn and he is considered "excluded" from the Sochi Games. He could also face a two-year ban by the IIHF for first-time offenders.

Freibergs case was the eighth doping violation of the Sochi Games, a Winter Olympics record, surpassing the seven from Salt Lake in 2002.

Latvia now has had two players fail anti-doping tests since the Games. On Feb. 22, it was announced that Vitalijs Pavlovs had tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine, which he claimed was in food supplements recommended by the doctor of his KHL team, Dinamo Riga.

Because Latvia has had only two players fail anti-doping tests -- for now -- the team itself will not face any sanctions from the IIHF.

- - - - - - -

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Blackhawks hope to correct atrocious penalty kill vs. Devils

      The Chicago Blackhawks, at 5-on-5 this season, have looked like the perennial championship contender they always do. The Blackhawks' struggles while down a man can be indirectly credited to a lack of cohesion that has led to the team defending … More »

      AP - Sports - 19 minutes ago
    • Ducks give holdout Lindholm 6-year deal

      Ducks give holdout Lindholm 6-year deal

      The Anaheim Ducks signed holdout Hampus Lindholm to a six-year, $31.5 million contract through the 2021-22 season on Thursday, ending a stalemate with their talented Swedish defenseman. The 22-year-old Lindholm scored 92 points in 236 games over … More »

      AP - Sports - 25 minutes ago
    • Hurricanes set for home opener versus Rangers

      The season-opening road stretch didn't treat the Carolina Hurricanes well so they'll have to do better upon beginning their ventures at PNC Arena. The New York Rangers have been in a better groove during the first couple of weeks of the season. … More »

      AP - Sports - 28 minutes ago
    • CCM donates more than $42K in hockey equipment to N.W.T. youth

      CCM donates more than $42K in hockey equipment to N.W.T. youth

      There will be some big smiles on the faces of young hockey players in several communities throughout the Northwest Territories this winter. Sports equipment manufacturer CCM is donating new hockey gear for up to 200 youth between the ages of four … More »

      CBC - 1 hour 58 minutes ago
    • Defensive-minded Canucks searching for offence with McDavid, Ovechkin on deck

      Defensive-minded Canucks searching for offence with McDavid, Ovechkin on deck

      After a perfect start to the regular season, a couple of familiar warts are starting to pop up on the Vancouver Canucks. The offensively challenged Canucks were always going to rely on defensive structure and good goaltending to try and grind out … More »

      The Canadian Press - 2 hours 7 minutes ago