Swedish athletes face drugs questioning

Three Swedish athletics stars were arrested on Saturday night on suspicion of minor drugs offences.

Sven Nylander and Patrick Sjöberg, who have retired from competition, as well as the sprinter Patrik Lövgren, were taken into custody by Gothenburg police, Swedish media reported.

The Swedish Athletics Association declined to comment before the results of tests, amid speculation that the three had taken cocaine.

“According to the police it will take 14 days before the analysis of the samples is completed. Clearly we would have liked it to happen more quickly.”

Gothenburg police confirmed to TT that a number of people were taken into custody for interviews and to provide samples.

“Five people were taken into custody from Kungsportsavenyn [the Avenue] on suspicion of drugs offences,” said Dan Hansson, spokesman at Gothenburg police.

Patrik Lövgren and Sven Nylander have told the Swedish media that they are innocent, while Patrik Sjöberg has not commented.

Sjöberg is a former world record holder in the high jump, while Nylander’s event was 400m hurdles.