Two more athletes test positive in Sochi Games

Last updated 11:24 23/02/2014

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A Latvian hockey player and a Ukrainian cross-country skier failed drug tests at the Sochi Olympics, bringing to four the number of doping cases at the Games.

The International Olympic Committee said this morning that Vitalijs Pavlovs and Marina Lisogor were both expelled.

Pavlovs, the ice hockey player, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine following Latvia's loss to Canada in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The 30-year-old Lisogor, a cross-country skier, tested positive for trimetazidine on Tuesday after the women's team sprint.

The latest positive tests follow those of German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Italian bobsledder William Frullani.

All four cases involve stimulants that can be found in food supplements. They are all classified as a "specified stimulant" on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list. Specified substances are considered more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.

Pavlovs was tested after Latvia's 2-1 loss to the Canadians in the men's hockey tournament. Latvia finished in eighth place.

Pavlovs said he had been taking food supplements on the recommendation of the doctor of his Latvian club team, Dynamo Riga.

"The disciplinary commission unanimously concluded that the athlete had been negligent and had therefore committed an anti-doping rule violation," the IOC said in a statement.

The Latvian's doping violation was announced early on the final day of the Sochi Games.

Lisogor competed in two cross-country events in Sochi, finishing far out of the medals. She said she had been taking medication for a thyroid condition but "forgot to declare" the drug on her doping form.

Lisogor admitted she was at fault and did not request the backup "B" sample to be tested.

"The disciplinary commission unanimously concluded that the athlete had, at the very least, been negligent," the IOC said.

The IOC is conducting 2,453 drug tests in Sochi, a record for the Winter Games. The Olympic body also stores doping samples for 10 years to allow for retesting when new methods become available.

There was only one positive test at the previous Winter Olympics four years ago in Vancouver.

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- AP

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