Nicklas Backstrom Awarded Silver Medal Following Olympic Suspension

The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will receive his silver medal after being suspended for the gold-medal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Last month, Backstrom tested positive for elevated levels of pseudoephedrine, a banned substance by the IOC and World Anti-Doping Federation found in his allergy medication. Sweden lost to Canada by a 3-0 score.

From the IOC Disciplinary Commission:

The IOC Disciplinary Commission (DC), composed of Anita L. DeFrantz (Chairperson), Nawal El Moutawakel and Claudia Bokel, found that the provisional suspension was fully justified, not only due to the presence in excess of the applicable decision limit of PSE in his urine sample, but also due to the fact that the athlete conceded at the hearing, which took place shortly before the final match, that he had also taken medication containing PSE earlier that day.

The IOC DC 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.

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