One of the best underdog stories of the Sochi Olympics may be nearly undone.
According to The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle, the Latvian men's Olympic team - which finished eighth in the hockey tournament - now faces possible disqualification after a second player has allegedly tested positive for a banned substance.
Mirtle cites a report from Latvian web site sportacentrs.com that states an unnamed player has turned up the team's second positive drug test of the tournament. Forward Vitalijs Pavlovs failed a drug test following Latvia's 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Canada.
Under Olympic rules, hockey teams do not face disqualification until multiple players test positive for banned substances.
The eighth-place finish improved Latvia to 10th in the IIHF world rankings, which is a key determinant to Olympic qualification. The top nine teams in the IIHF world rankings received automatic berths to the Sochi Games, which was the reason why Norway (ranked ninth through 2012) was able to avoid the qualification tournaments that saw Slovenia, Austria and Latvia qualify by beating the likes of Germany, France and Belarus.
IIHF rankings are based on tournament performance over a four-year span, including both the Olympic hockey tournament and the World Championships.