IOC sanctions Latvian forward Vitalijs Pavlovs for doping violation

Harrison Mooney
February 22, 2014

Latvia battled to a 1-4 record at the Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi, and they're very proud of it. The win was a surprise victory over Switzerland, earning them a berth in the quarterfinals. And once there, they very nearly stole another win versus Canada, eventually falling 2-1. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

Well, almost nothing. On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee announced that Latvian forward Vitalijs Pavlovs had failed a doping test taken after the Canada game, becoming the fourth athlete at the Games to do so.

Pavlovs tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine. He explained that he'd been taking food supplements recommended by the doctor for Dinamo Riga, his KHL club.

The IOC didn't buy it, and outlined the list of sanctions against Pavlovs. He's been immediately disqualified from the quarterfinal match versus Canada, which may not seem like much of a punishment, since he already played in it, but the IOC counters with not anymore he didn't.

It's like he was never in Sochi. His diploma for Latvia's 8th-place finish has to be returned, along with other cool souvenirs from being at the Olympics, like his Olympic identity and accreditation card.

Unfortunately, Pavlovs didn't score Latvia's goal, so the Canadians will just have to live with the fact that Latvia scored a goal on Carey Price. So will the Americans, come to think of it.