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. Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    BU's Jack Eichel A Standout At World Junior Training Camp Getty Images

    “I think I bring a really good winning attitude and I have a lot to offer offensively.”

  2. Video: Sidney Crosby strikes twice to bust personal playoff scoring slump

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Had one goal in 19 playoff games prior to Saturday.

  3. Video: Rangers’ Stepan opens scoring with perfect shot top corner

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    These teams combined for eight shots in the opening period.

  4. So…what do the Oilers do now?

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

    Craig MacTavish. AP

    Craig MacTavish has some decisions to make, now that he’s won the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT

    AP

    Can the Penguins and Jets even things up?

  6. Babcock to go with Mrazek for Game 3

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:01 PM EDT

    AP

    Not wasting any time.

  7. Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    AP

    This series is all tied up at 1-1.

  8. Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

    Deryk Engelland’s game misconduct for instigating was rescinded.

  9. Here are the East finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Pullar Stadium and War Memorial Arena.

  10. Here are the West finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

    HockeyVille

    Congrats to Decatur and St. Michael-Albertville.

  11. Goalie Update: Hiller and Holtby expected to start Sunday

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT

    Braden Holtby Braden Holtby

    Both will look to give their respective team a 2-1 series lead.

  12. Blackhawks’ Darling gets the nod for Game 3

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT

    Scott Darling Scott Darling

    He made 42 saves in Chicago’s Game 1 win.

Featured video

Sens need to control emotions after Subban slash
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Pacioretty (4525)
  2. P. Kane (3778)
  3. K. Letang (3527)
  4. R. Nash (3399)
  5. J. Abdelkader (2694)
  1. M. Stone (2666)
  2. M. Giordano (2637)
  3. Z. Kassian (2621)
  4. M. Fisher (2608)
  5. M. Perreault (2499)