Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque says he is putting his political career with the federal Green Party on hold so he can fight fraud charges against him.

Laraque told a news conference in Montreal this morning it is important for him to be able to clear his name.

Party leader Elizabeth May called it a sad day but reiterated her support for Laraque.

Laraque announced Thursday that he was stepping down as deputy leader and was withdrawing his candidacy for the party in a Montreal-area byelection.

Earlier this year, media reported that police near Montreal raided Laraque's home in search of documents related to the Super-Glide synthetic ice venture.

Laraque confirmed earlier this week the criminal charges are related to two transactions worth a total of $120,000. He said the accusations stem from a dispute with engineer Marc Filion, who co-founded the company with him in 2009.