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Latvian hockey player caught doping in Sochi

Latvia's Ralfs Freibergs (top) trips over Finland's Antti Pihlstrom during their 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship preliminary round m
Latvia's Ralfs Freibergs (top) trips over Finland's Antti Pihlstrom during their 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship preliminary round m

BERLIN (Reuters) - Latvian ice hockey player Ralfs Freibergs tested positive at the Sochi Olympics for a banned substance, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday, bringing the total number of positive tests to eight at the Games in February.

The 23-year-old tested positive for an anabolic androgenic steroid on Feb 22 after giving a urine sample following their quarter-final defeat to Canada two days earlier. He had his diploma for placing eighth in the men's competition withdrawn, the IOC said.

Freibergs, who plays for the Bowling Green State University team in the NCAA, now faces a possible two-year ban from the international ice hockey federation as a first-time offender.

The Sochi Games have seen seven more positive doping cases than the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with the IOC taking a winter Games record 2,812 blood and urine samples for testing.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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