Updated: Friday, 25 April 2014 19:37 | By Agence France-Presse

Latvia ice hockey player guilty of Sochi steroid use

Latvian ice hockey player Ralfs Freibergs failed a drugs test at the Sochi Olympics and has been thrown out of the Games retrospectively the International Olympic Committee announced on Friday.

Latvia ice hockey player guilty of Sochi steroid use

Latvia defender Ralfs Freibergs (R) challenges Finland's Juhamatti Aaltonen during a preliminary round game at the IIHF International Ice Hockey World Championships in Helsinki on May 14, 2013 - by Alexander Nemenov

Freibergs, 23, was found to have taken a testosterone-based anabolic steroid after Latvia's quarter-final defeat to Canada.

Another Latvian player, Vitalijs Pavlovs, also failed a drugs test and was kicked out of the Games.

Pavlovs, 24, tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine.

Freibergs had been given the all-clear by the Latvian Olympic Committee, along with the 32 other members of their Sotchi squad, following drug tests before the Games.

But a laboratory in Helsinki, which carried out the analysis of those samples, explained that the test to detect the particular steroid had been introduced fairly recently and had not been available to all laboratories.

The IOC said it was up to the International Ice Hockey Federation to take the appropriate action against the player. 

Freibergs becomes the eighth athlete to fail a drugs test in Sochi, although Swedish ice hockey player Nicklas Bäckstrom was cleared of all doping accusations by the IOC disciplinary committee and allowed to hold on to his silver medal.

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