The International Olympic Committee on Friday announced that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will receive a silver medal for playing for Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics despite failing a doping-control test that prevented him from playing in the gold-medal game.
Backstrom was removed from the Sweden lineup just before the championship game against Canada after testing positive for pseudoephedrine as a result of taking the allergy medication Zyrtec-D. Canada beat Sweden 3-0.
At his disciplinary hearing, Backstrom admitting taking the medication and said he was told by Sweden team doctor Bjorn Waldeback that he was permitted to take it.
“While I will always be disappointed that I wasn’t able to play in the gold medal game with my fellow countrymen, I’m pleased that my name has been cleared by the IOC," Backstrom said in a statement posted on the website of the National Hockey League Players' Association. "It is important to me that the IOC has acknowledged that I had asked for and received specific advice from my team doctor that taking this allergy medication would not be a violation. In addition, I had disclosed my use of over-the-counter medication prior to being tested.
"Over the next few days I will review this decision in detail with the NHLPA.”
In announcing the decision, the IOC ruled that Backstrom's cooperation with the discipline committee, his disclosure of the medication, and the lack of any intent to improve his performance was sufficient for him to receive the medal.
Pseudoephedrine is not on the Prohibited Substance List in the NHL.