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Backstrom a drug cheat?
Allowed in NHL but not in Olympics
26.Feb.2014, 11:13 PM
Many people are quoting the following on the Backstrom case:
"due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years"
When you only have the player's own word for this one should be careful in making a final judgement.
Instead of the first week of a two year ban he is free to play NHL tomorrow. This has to be stopped.
According to the Finnish Team Doctor it is not possible to get the levels he had through normal medication.
Furthermore as this article (granted 16 years old, but very interesting) shows hockey players looking to gain an unfair advantage could abuse this substance.
In no way do I discredit what Backstrom has said but it would be better for all concerned if his version could be corroborated.
To play the Devil's advocate here: How do we know he has not taken large doses of the drug which he feels he can explain away with the medicine?
WADA (The World Anti-Doping Agency) dictates that this medicine must not be taken during competition. Source:
The Olympics adhere to WADA whilst the NHL does not apply WADA rules. Therefore he knew the score and he should not have taken this medicine. (There are other hayfever medicines available that give the same result against the hayfever without giving an edge on the playing field).
As for the timing of the test result being released: The tests are numbered with an ID not named. They had a very high number of tests and had no way of knowing whose test they were testing. The lab was running to over max capacity and had a backlog.
Given the fact that two influential Swedes (*) are high up in WADA and IOC it is extremely unlikely there was any form of Conspiracy here.
(*Arne Ljungqvist is chairman of IOC's Medical Commission, and vice chairman of WADA. Gunilla Lindberg is one of four Vice Presidents of the IOC.)
Hockey has to deal with the possible problems within the sport but within my sport (cycling) there would be no way back for a cyclist who had listened to a team doctor and taken Pseudoephedrine. The cyclist would receive an automatic two year ban and in the case of a Swede he would be banned for life from the national team.
You can imagine the furor within the cycling community at the moment. We suffer from a bad image because we adhere to the WADA code and stop our sportsmen taking things to gain that might lead to an unfair advantage. Whilst in the NHL sponsors are pouring big money into a sport that allows banned substances like Pseudoephedrine. It's a farce!
Time for an EU ban on all products connected to NHL sponsors. If we hit them where it hurts - in the pocket - we can clean up the doping riddled NHL.
President Dalarnas Cycling Federation
1.Mar.2014, 05:37 PM
Sadly, this has taken so much attention from Sweden performing good in general at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
2.Mar.2014, 12:30 AM
"...Sweden performing good in general at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games"
This was one of the worst performances by Sweden at a Winter Olympics. Given the increase in the number of events one expected a lot more from a nation that prides itself on Olympic performace and Winter Sports in general. With the enormous state funds spent on training, coaching and facilities for the Olympians it is actually quite shocking they performed so poorly.
In Sarajevo 1984 Sweden took four of the 39 Golds. (Over 10%) and as recently as 2006 they record a tally of 7. This year they took just 2 of 99. It's actually a pretty crap return on the tens of millions invested.
1980-2010 Winter Olympics
2014, 2 gold of 99 possible
2010, 5 of 86
2006, 7 of 84
2002, 0 of 80
1998, 0 of 69
1994, 2 of 61
1992, 1 of 57
1988, 4 of 46
1984, 4 of 39
1980, 3 of 38
Swedish athletes have always enjoyed state backing to perform in the Olympics. During the Olympics' amateur years young Swedes could concentrate on their sport on a full time basis. They were often "employed" in the military in full time training or were on "release" schemes from industrial jobs where they were not expected to work but to speak well of the products.
In the UK our athletes were often carpenters or bricklayers turning out an honest 40 hour week with training fitted in around this.
Today there are vast sums of money being spent on the Swedish Olympic Committee's "Topp and Talang Program" (Top Talent Program) which is only available to potential Olympians. The prerequisite is that chosen athletes have a realistic chance of coming in the top 8 in an Olympic Final. (The number is a benchmark for all sports but is based on summer track events where there are 8 in the finals). So you can forget all that baloney about "The taking part" which we adhere to in the UK allowing jokers like Eddie the Eagle to take part. Sweden would never have allowed a Swedish "Eddie the Eagle" to enter in any sport. They aim only for Gold and 2 out of 99 is just not good enough.
2.Mar.2014, 07:25 AM
Sadly, this has taken so much attention from Sweden performing good in general at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Sweden were pants, not just a little pair either of pants either.
Norway were performing well, as usual in many events. They punch above their weight population wise too.
Sweden has a similar climate, population, facilities... but performs dismally in comparison. For wealthy nation, that enjoys a reasonable winter (usually), have plenty of free time for sports etc. Sweden is massively under performing. They should be racking up a dozen golds.
The skiers did OK, but were held together by 1 or 2 key performers without which they would never have got those few medals in a relays or individual events. When they retire Sweden will slump again. Norway by contrast has a bigger and more advanced youth development programme.
The UK funding of winter sports is comical. Bobsleigh / Luge etc. gets
2.Mar.2014, 08:34 AM
This thread started by a guy who proudly puts his position in a cycling club at the end of his post is laughable, being as cycling is the most corrupt sport of all especially when it comes to performance enhancing drugs. He knows SFA about hockey as a sport yet pontificates at great length.
The matter is under investigation and a ruling will be made in due course, until then leave it to the professionals.
I spent 10 years as a hockey coach/manager and it was generally agreed that given the short burst of a maximum of 2 minutes that any player spends on the ice, drugs do little to enhance shift performance
2.Mar.2014, 09:19 AM
I spent 10 years as a hockey coach/manager and it was generally agreed that given the short burst of a maximum of 2 minutes that any player spends on the ice, drugs do little ... (show full quote)
I spent 10 years as a hockey coach/manager and it was generally agreed that given the short burst of a maximum of 2 minutes that any player spends on the ice, drugs do little to enhance shift performance ... (hide full quote)
I do often agree with you Rick, but not this time.
I haven't play hockey competitively for 20 years now. But, drugs are and certainly were rife, less so in the UK because in the late eighties when I was playing at Durham and Sunderland, professional hockey hadn't really taken off, so winning or performance had less financial incentive. But within 5 years into the 90s all that changed.
The game; short bursts of energy, typical 2-3mins, composed of many 10-20m sprints, combinations of strength & endurance, much like a 400m runner or 200-400m free style swimmer.. benefits massively from specific training. To aid muscle strength, enhance fast twitch muscle, improve recovery, increase VO2 max... endless list.. the same sized list of drugs that that could be used to either improve performance during training, or during the actually games. I have a friend and ex workmate who competed in track & field, he give us the low down on athletics too, many of the best athletes have employed pharmacists in the past, who developed blocking chemicals, which hide or modify the residues of sports enhancing drugs in the body, by changing the chemical composition. I have little doubt that given the money in NHL and sponsorship deals at stake for the very best players, some players will be doing this too.
I'll avoid specifics, but where we trained, we used the same gym as a European boxer, there we many conversation related to sports enhancing drugs, between boxers and players, the similarities of shorts burst of activities with breath rests to catch your breath are in both sports.. I suspect little has changed. It's just a game of cat and mouse, between those who create the drugs and those who develop the tests.
Overall, if a drugs is on the banned list, regardless of the quantity etc. then any honest player would simply take no drugs, all these 'athletes' who get caught out because they took a supposedly 'flu remedy' a week before a major competition are simply cheats, as if you had spent 3 or 4 years hard OS training, staying clean, you simply wouldn't risk failing a drugs test by taking a beechams or nasal spray for allergy.
The OS and Backstrom; there will be a B sample being tested no, in a different lab. These results can then be compared to the normal drug residue of a normal allergy sufferer. But, until this is proven he is technical still guilty and banned. The OS officials failed though, as they should have notified him and the Swedish team, 48hrs sooner than they did. But that's just typical OS committee, they can break their own rules, but no one else can!
2.Mar.2014, 10:03 AM
> The OS officials failed though, as they should have notified him and the Swedish team, 48hrs sooner than they did. But that's just typical OS committee, they can break their own rules, but no one else can!
This is not the case. Through my position in Swedish sports I do have an understanding of how this works. The tests are numbered with an ID so the lab have no idea who they are testing. In the last week there was a backlog and B?ckstr?ms test was one of these delayed. Then there is a chain of command within the IOC and SOC. Then the ID number is checked against the list and the doped athlete identified. His national federation are told and then he is informed. At that point he is not allowed to play. The B test was then priority tested and after the game he was proven to have doped.
> This thread started by a guy who proudly puts his position in a cycling club at the end of his post is laughable, being as cycling is the most corrupt sport of all...
In the Words of Cher to Meatloaf - Stop Right There!
Number 1 if you noticed I am president of the regional cycling federation. (Ordf?rande in Dalarnas Cykelf?rbund in Swedish). Cycling has had more than its fair share of cheats and I lost interest in professional cycling around 1996-1999.
However with the measures taken within cycling I would say it's probably one of the cleanest sports today.
If Niclas B?ckstr?m had been a cyclist and had the exact same dope result for the exact same reason there would have been no way for him to continue. His would be a disgrace to his friends and family. He would have received no words of support from teammates, supporters or federation officials. The Swedish Cycling Federation would have disowned him and he would be banned from the national team for life. (Even the masters events in 30-40 years. For a Swedish cyclist there really is no way back to a blue and yellow team dress). The World Cycling Federation (UCI) would have automatically banned him for two years and he would have been fined. His team would have sacked him.
Compare this to the fact that he is a hockey player. Federation officials having a go at the Olympic Committee. Fans, team mates and officials of the Washington Caps coming to his support. The NHL threatening to pull out of the Olympics if their stars are going to be treated like this.
I take the utmost exception to you words as the facts speak for themselves. It is the money talking in Ice Hockey and the sport is very corrupt. Doping is rife and allowed to an extent it is encouraged. The NHL refuse to adhere to WADA regulations whereas most other sport in the world are in WADA. Interestingly the notable sports that are not in WADA are Football, Baseball, Ice Hockey, American Football, Basketball. All of these are big money sports. And you talk of corruption? If they are serious about ridding their sports of doping they would join WADA.
As for previous corruption.
Ben Johnson tested positive in the 1988 100m Olympic final. The Gold was given to Carl Lewis. Last year it was revealed that Carl Lewis tested positive in the USA 2 months before the 1988 games. He was banned but this was overturned in secret and the test result hidden away. When they investigated it they found 2000 positive doping tests in US track & field in the run up to the 1984 LA Games. I can give you the Youtube links to these documentaries if you want.
Therefore I proudly support cycling today and will remind you that if the UCI had also refused membership of WADA Lance Armstrong would still be a hero and we would have had very few doping cases in the sport.
As for the near future.
This coming Wednesday the Swedish TV program "Uppdrag Granskning" is aiming to prove that most of the top Swedish Skiers and many national team members are doping.
Bottom Line on B?ckstr?m/Backstrom:
This 1988 article shows what can be gained with the dope B?ckstr?m abused.
Granted it is 16 years old but it is an eye opener into a sport that has had the facts for at least 16 years and done nothing about it. That my friend is the real scandal and corruption.
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