sochi 2014

Nicklas Backstrom

WADA’s appeal over Nicklas Backstrom not about Sochi silver medal

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The World Anti-Doping Agency said its appeal over Swedish hockey player Nicklas Backstrom‘s failed drug test case at the Sochi Olympics has nothing to do with the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award Backstrom a silver medal.

“WADA wishes to clarify that the appeal does not in any way relate to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s decision to award the athlete an Olympic silver medal,” WADA said in a statement.

WADA said Thursday it is appealing an unspecified International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) decision rather than the IOC’s.

Backstrom was suspended for the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game, which Sweden lost to Canada on Feb. 23, after it was found he tested positive for pseudoephedrine (PSE) on Feb. 19. He did not initially receive a silver medal.

The IOC ruled on March 14 that Backstrom should receive a silver medal, which he did receive later this year. The IOC also ruled on March 14 that Backstrom’s gold-medal game suspension was justified, blaming a team doctor, but said he would not be punished further.

WADA announced its appeal Tuesday.

“The decision to exonerate the athlete was recently appealed by WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” WADA senior manager of media relations and communications Ben Nichols wrote in an email.

WADA has not detailed the nature of its appeal.

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Nicklas Backstrom’s exoneration appealed by WADA

Nicklas Backstrom
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An International Olympic Committee decision to clear Swedish Olympic hockey player Nicklas Backstrom of wrongdoing after he failed a drug test at the Sochi Olympics has been appealed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), according to The Hockey News.

“The decision to exonerate the athlete was recently appealed by WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” WADA senior manager of media relations and communications Ben Nichols wrote in an email, according to the report.

Backstrom was suspended for the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game, which Sweden lost to Canada on Feb. 23, after it was found he tested positive for pseudoephedrine (PSE) on Feb. 19. He did not initially receive a silver medal.

The IOC ruled on March 14 that Backstrom should receive a silver medal, which he did receive later this year. The IOC also ruled on March 14 that Backstrom’s gold-medal game suspension was justified.

WADA wouldn’t speculate if Backstrom could be stripped of his silver medal if its appeal was successful, according to The Hockey News.

“I don’t really have anything to say about it,” Backstrom told CSNWashington.com after he had two assists in the Washington Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. “We’ll see what happens. I mean, I thought it was over but I guess it’s not. I don’t really think about it. We’ll see.”

The NHL is backing Backstrom in the WADA case.

“WADA is an organization that has clearly overgrown its original mandate and purpose. It’s a travesty,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in response to WADA’s appeal, according to TSN.

In March, the IOC Disciplinary Commission concluded that Swedish team doctor Bjorn Waldeback made a “serious error” by advising Backstrom that his use of the medicine Zyrtec-D would “not give rise to an adverse analytical finding.”

“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,” the IOC said in March. “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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Oldest Olympic relay torchbearer dies at 102

Alexander Kaptarenko
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Alexander Kaptarenko, who became the oldest Olympic relay torchbearer last December, died Saturday morning, according to Russian media reports.

Kaptarenko carried a Sochi Olympic torch in Novosibirsk for 200 meters on Dec. 7. He trained for the honor by carrying a frozen salmon.

Kaptarenko, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1912, competed in table tennis for decades, most recently at a European veterans championship in 2012.

The oldest 2012 Olympic relay member was Dinah Gould, who was 100.

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