Latvian hockey player Sandis Ozoliņš, who has been in a substance abuse and behavioral program since Dec. 29, was expected to be released from the program and could play for his homeland team in the Winter Olympics, the Los Angeles Times reported Feb. 12.
Ozoliņš, a defenseman for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks of the National Hockey League, might be able to return to the California-based team after playing in the Olympics, General Manager Brian Burke told the newspaper.
Ozoliņš, who has been battling injuries, has only played in 13 games this season, the newspaper reported. The NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced Dec. 29 that Ozoliņš voluntarily entered the substance abuse and behavioral program. Ozoliņš has a 2005-2006 contract with the Mighty Ducks valued at USD 2.75 million, according to the NHLPA.
Ozoliņš also played for Latvia during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Latvian hockey team’s first appearance in 2006 games is Feb. 15 when it goes up against the United States.
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