Nicklas Backstrom will receive Olympic silver medal

Nicklas Backstrom

Swedish Olympic hockey player Nicklas Backstrom will receive a silver medal after testing positive for pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday.

Backstrom was held out of Sweden’s gold-medal game loss to Canada on Feb. 23 after his Feb. 19 drug test results came back.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission of three said the suspension was fully justified in a press release. The full decision is available here.

“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 release said.

“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.”

The 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.”

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