Men's hockey had a rough Olympics when it comes to drug testing. Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom missed the Gold Medal game for Sweden for testing positive for his allergy medication.Now, there are reports out of Latvia that Bowling Green sophomore defenseman Ralfs Freibergs, the lone NCAA hockey player participating in the Olympics, is one of two Latvian players to test positive.
What Freibergs tested positive for by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - or even if he did - is still unknown.
Despite that, Freibergs, who was suspended by the NCAA for most of his freshman season after playing in a professional league, is still eligible to play tonight for the Falcons against Northern Michigan in his first game back from the Olympics.
"We've been in touch with the NCAA and unless anything changes, they've said (Freibergs) is eligible to continue to play," BG athletics department spokesman Jason Knavel said Friday.
Knavel declined comment when asked if Freibergs had been drug tested by BG officials since returning to school late Sunday afternoon.
Knavel said neither Freibergs nor the athletics departments had been notified of a positive drug test by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the organization that oversees drug testing for the IOC.
Knavel said athletics department officials have reached out to the WADA, but have not heard back from the organization.
Freibergs played in three of Latvia's five Olympic games. The 22 year-old defenseman, who currently has 20 points (2G-18A) as Bowling Green's power play quarterback, had a single Olympic assist.
The first Latvian failed test was Vitalijs Pavlovs. He was found to have methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine) in his system after Latvia's 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Canada. The pair of failed tests means that Latvia's eighth place finish may mean the first disqualification of a hockey team in the Olympics by the IOC for doping. Teams are only punished if more than one player tests positive.