ZURICH – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the decision today in the case of Swedish forward Nicklas Backstrom’s doping case which occurred during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. From the IOC:
Backstrom, 26, tested positive on 19 February for the presence of pseudoephedrine (PSE) in excess of the applicable decision limit of 170 µg/mL. He was provisionally suspended from competing in the final of the men’s ice hockey competition between Sweden and Canada.
The IOC Disciplinary Commission (DC), composed of Anita L. DeFrantz (Chairperson), Nawal El Moutawakel and Claudia Bokel, found that the provisional suspension was fully justified, 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 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.
Full IOC decision here
The IIHF welcomes the decision reached by the IOC and will review the decision internally in cooperation with the IIHF Disciplinary Panel. Arrangements will be made to organize an official handover of the medal from the IIHF to Backstrom at a later date.