Although the IOC did not confirm at the time that Backstrom had
failed a drugs test, Swedish officials pulled him out of the final
after being told that he had been shown to be carrying a high level
of the stimulant pseudoephedrine (PSE).
The IOC was criticized for its handling of the case and Sweden lost
the final 3-0 to Canada.
Backstrom, one of Sweden's top players, said he appreciated the IOC
"While I will always be disappointed that I wasn't able to play in
the gold medal game with my fellow countrymen, I'm pleased that my
name has been cleared by the IOC," Backstrom, who plays for the
National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, said in a statement.
"It is important to me that the IOC has acknowledged that I had
asked for and received specific advice from my team doctor that
taking this allergy medication would not be a violation. In
addition, I had disclosed my use of over-the-counter medication
prior to being tested."
Backstrom said at the Olympics he had taken the same medication for
years to help treat nasal and sinus congestion while team officials
felt his absence affected their chances of winning the gold medal.
An IOC Disciplinary Commission found that the 26-year-old
Backstrom's provisional suspension was justified due to the presence
of excess PSE.
[to top of second column]
It decided, however, that Backstrom could receive his medal because
he had been co-operative, had taken the medication following advice
from the team doctor and had not intended to improve his
"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 IOC said in a statement.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond; editing by Frank Pingue)
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