The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has introduced a legal aid programme for those who face disciplinary procedures from the governing body.
Free support will be available for players, coaches, officials and member associations who might not be able to afford it.
Staff from the IIHF's legal department have worked on the initiative in a bid to preserve "the right to fair and equitable legal representation for all parties".
Beginning from the 2019-2020 international season, legal aid can be applied for any disciplinary proceedings, including matters relating to anti-doping, match fixing and on-ice infractions.
"This initiative demonstrates a clear commitment to fairness for athletes and all legal defendants involved in IIHF disciplinary cases," said IIHF President René Fasel.
"Anyone that needs representation in an IIHF disciplinary case but cannot afford it will have access to experienced, professional legal support.
"I am proud that the IIHF is the first winter sport federation to set this up."
The legal support will cover counsel as well as other costs including transport to a hearing.
Five sports lawyers have been made available by the IIHF to work on future cases – Carol Etter, Dino Husak Osmanovic, Matthew Kaiser, Susanah Ng and Yury Zaytsev.
They have all volunteered their time and are not affiliated with the sport.
"We have decided to move ahead with this programme in view of the increasing number of cases where players, coaches, officials and members, due to financial reasons, are unable to secure proper representation in disciplinary proceedings before the IIHF," said IIHF legal director Ashley Ehlert.
"We want to make sure that these individuals feel that their rights are being upheld and that they can have confidence that their legal representation is both professional, impartial, and capable of supporting their case."