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Bäckström to receive medal despite drugs fail

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Photo: TT
07:49 CET+01:00
Swedish ice hockey player Nicklas Bäckström is set to receive his Olympic silver medal despite having missed the final after testing positive for a banned substance.

Sweden were well beaten 3-0 by Canada in the Olympic ice hockey final but had to make do without the Washington Capitals centre as he had been provisionally suspended after testing positive on February 19 for an amount of pseudoephedrine over the allowed limit.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Friday they had looked into his case and found no wrong-doing on the part of the player, meaning he will now receive his medal.

"The IOC DC (disciplinary commission) took into account in particular that the athlete had been cooperative, had disclosed the medication in question in the doping control form and had relied on the specific advice of his team doctor that the intake of the medication would not give rise to an adverse analytical finding.

"There was also no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance by taking a prohibited substance. Based upon these mitigating circumstances, the IOC DC considered that the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men's ice hockey."

The disciplinary commission backed the decision to provisionally suspend Bäckström and prevent him from playing in the final because he had retaken the medication containing pseudoephedrine just a few hours before that match.

That move was condemned by the Swedish team who felt it had affected their chances of winning the title.

Bäckström said he'd been taking the same medication, which is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, for the last seven years without ever failing a test.

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But he failed the one taken following the semi-final victory over Finland.

The National Hockey League had already said they didn't expect Bäckström to be hit with a ban.

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