Skip to content

Backstrom: I was tested Wednesday, informed of results Sunday (Update: NHL releases statement)

Feb 23, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT

The specifics of Nicklas Backstrom‘s failed drug test are beginning to come to light.

Following Sweden’s 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal hockey final, an emotional Backstrom took to the podium and tried to explain why he was banned from competing in Sunday’s game — and how he learned of the decision just prior to puck drop:

“I was ready to play probably the biggest game of my career, and two-and-a-half hours before the game I got pulled aside,” Backstrom said, per the Washington Post. “It’s sad.”

Here’s Backstrom’s take on the incident, from Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:

Ergo, Backstrom competed in Sweden’s 2-1 semifinal win over Finland following his failed test on the 19th.

Here’s the IIHF’s side of things, from WaPo’s Dave Sheinin:

Backstrom, 26, said he’s been taking allergy medicine daily for the last seven years, with a Swedish team doctor claiming that included the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Backstrom had been a vital contributor for Sweden leading up to the gold medal game in Sochi, notching four assists through five games while averaging over 18 minutes per night. What’s more, his presence in the middle was crucial as Sweden had lost a pair of centers — Henrik Zetterberg, who was hurt during the tournament, and Henrik Sedin, who was removed from the team just prior to the start of the Games.

As for why Backstrom’s test results came back so late?

According to Sheinin, the IIHF medical chief said “we have a lot of tests going on.”

UPDATE: The NHL has issued the following statement…

“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.

“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”

Latest Posts
  1. Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Brayden Schenn, Ryan McDonagh AP

    “You definitely want to be physical on him.”

  2. Oshie and Berglund out, Tarasenko in for Blues tonight vs. ‘Hawks

    Apr 17, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT

    OshieBerglund Getty Images

    Game 1 gets underway at Scottrade at 8 p.m. ET (on NBCSN).

  3. Get your game notes: Blackhawks at Blues

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    BluesBlackhawks AP

    Classic rivalry will get underway tonight at Scottrade.

  4. Sharks playing the role of underdogs versus Kings

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Brad Stuart, Justin Williams AP

    Even though they’re not really underdogs.

  5. Get your game notes: Flyers at Rangers

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Jakub Voracek, Henrik Lundqvist AP

    Both teams bounced back from bad starts to make the playoffs.

  6. St. Louis focused on team rather than own struggles

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

    Martin St. Louis Getty Images

    He had eight points in 19 games with New York.

  7. PHT Morning Skate: Four Game 1s start it up tonight

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT

    Patrick Marleau, Alec Martinez AP

    New York, St. Louis, Denver, and San Jose is where it’s at tonight.

  8. Video: Getzlaf bloodied after taking puck to face

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:19 AM EDT

    Getzlaf2

    A Tyler Seguin bullet, no less.

  9. Bylsma praises ‘formidable’ Bennett-Sutter-Stempniak line

    Apr 17, 2014, 12:03 AM EDT

    Bylsma Getty Images

    The trio was big in Wednesday’s Game 1 victory over the Jackets.

  10. Lightning provide few details about Palat’s injury

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:23 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    It’s bad enough to inspire Jon Cooper’s pity, though.

  11. Blue Jackets coach wants more than just moral victories

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    “We aren’t here just to go to school. We’re here to win.”

  12. Weise gives Canadiens 1-0 series lead with overtime win

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One Getty Images

    After all that star power in regulation …

  13. Penguins outlast Blue Jackets, take Game 1

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

    Pittsburgh scores three unanswered goals to win.

Featured video

Are Penguins vulnerable vs. Columbus?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4626)
  2. T. Oshie (3629)
  3. M. Duchene (3444)
  4. B. Bishop (3014)
  5. H. Zetterberg (2924)
  1. M. Brodeur (2913)
  2. D. Backes (2875)
  3. P. Bergeron (2820)
  4. V. Tarasenko (2760)
  5. S. Crosby (2251)