Latvian national hockey team forward Vitalijs Pavlovs has been hit with a 1.5-year suspension after testing positive for an illegal stimulant at the Sochi Olympics, reports LETA. This means that Pavlovs will have to miss the next season.
However, since the suspension was made by the International Ice Hockey Federation, which has no jurisdiction in suspending players playing in North America, Pavlovs will have the opportunity to play in North America next season.
It is believed that the IIHF initially wished to hit Pavlovs with a two-year suspension, but since the team doctor of Latvian ice hockey club Riga Dinamo, Aris Aivars, admitted to giving the player the banned substance by accident, his suspension was reduced.
Pavlovs tested positive for the banned stimulant metilexanamine, as announced by the Latvian Olympic Committee in February, confirming the announcement made by the International Olympic Committee.
Metilexanamine is commonly used as a dietary supplement for weight control.
Pavlovs denied knowingly using anything illegal; all medication and dietary supplements he uses are recommended by his team [Riga Dinamo] physician, and are lab tested and cleared.