Latvia player banned 18 months for Olympic doping

Updated at: 05/01/2014 3:26 PM
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(AP) ZURICH - ZURICH (AP) — Latvian hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs has been banned for 18 months after testing positive for a banned stimulant at the Sochi Olympics.

The International Ice Hockey Federation says Pavlovs avoided a two-year sanction because he acted "without significant negligence in failing to verify the safety of the supplements he was taking."

The 24-year-old forward with KHL team Dinamo Riga is suspended through Oct. 30, 2015.

The IIHF says another Latvian player, Ralf Freibergs, is provisionally suspended and excluded from next month's world championships in Belarus while his doping case is heard.

The 22-year-old Freibergs tested positive for a steroid in Sochi.

Both players were caught after Latvia's 2-1 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals on Feb. 19. Both were disqualified by the International Olympic Committee.

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