Nicklas Backstrom will receive silver medal from Sochi Olympics

March 14, 2014

Loui Eriksson, right, celebrates his goal against Finland with teammate Nicklas Backstrom during the second period of the men’s semifinal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics on Feb. 21. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The International Olympic Committee has ruled that Nicklas Backstrom will receive his silver medal from the Sochi Games, nearly a month after he was held out of the gold medal game for testing positive for a banned substance.

Backstrom’s test results showed an elevated level of pseudoephedrine, which is found in his allergy medication Zyrtec-D. While the medication itself is a permitted drug, certain levels of pseudoephedrine are prohibited by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Federation.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission ruled the provisional suspension of Backstrom for Sweden’s gold medal game vs. Canada was “fully justified” but ultimately awarded him the medal because there was no indication he was trying to enhance his performance.

From the IOC Disciplinary Commission:

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.

You can check out the full text of the ruling here.

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Katie Carrera · March 14, 2014