By Nick Butler
Latvian Ralfs Freibergs has finally been handed a backdated two-year suspension by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) after he failed a doping test during last year's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The 23-year-old tested positive for anabolic steroid Turinabol in the aftermath of the European side's overtime quarter-final defeat to eventual gold medal winners Canada,
This deemed him the eighth failed test of the Games and the second from his own team.
But although his suspension was known on February 22, 2014, it was not made public until April when the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Disciplinary Committee decided a doping violation had been committed.
On April 28, the IIHF provisionally suspended Freibergs, and the following month this was upheld at a provisional suspension hearing.
But the player appealed the IOC decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, and, in the meantime has played matches in both the ECHL and American Hockey League.
In December, CAS then dismissed "all of the arguments raised by the player which mainly called into question the validity of the analytical results", disputing his claim that the laboratory results were unreliable in any way.
Following the final conclusion of this process, his backdated suspension will end on February 22 next year, in accordance with the IIHF's Disciplinary Regulation Article 5.7.
Latvian team mate Vitalijs Pavlovs also failed for methylhexaneamine and has already been handed a ban, due to expire in October this year.
Under IOC rules, ice hockey teams only face disqualification from the Olympics if more than one player in a team commits an anti-doping rule violation, but it is unclear at this stage if this will happen with regard to Latvia.
German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle was the first to test positive in Sochi, with Italian bobsledder William Frullani, Ukrainian cross-country skier Marina Lisogor and Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr also following suit.
Of these, the first three failed for banned stimulants while Duerr tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO).
January 2015: Swedish ice hockey star avoids ban following failed doping test at Sochi 2014
November 2014: WADA appeals against decision to award Swedish ice hockey star Bäckström Olympic silver medal
April 2014: Latvian ice hockey player Pavlovs banned for 18 months after failed drugs test at Sochi 2014
April 2014: Freibergs becomes second Latvian ice hockey player to fail drugs test at Sochi 2014
March 2014: Latvia facing Sochi 2014 ice hockey disqualification after second player "fails drugs test"