Swedish star Nicklas Backstrom tests positive

LARRY LAGE
Last updated 04:22 24/02/2014
Nicklas Backstrom
Getty Images
POSITIVE TEST: Swedish star Nicklas Backstrom, who plays for the Washington Capitals in the NHL, was scratched from the men's ice hockey goal medal game after testing positive for a minor stimulant.

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Sweden centre Nicklas Backstrom failed a doping test for a substance found in an allergy medication and was withdrawn from Sunday's (local time) hockey final at the Sochi Olympics.

"I got the message 2 hours before the game that something was wrong," Sweden coach Par Marts after his team lost 3-0 to Canada in the gold-medal game.

Backstrom, who plays for the Washington Capitals in the NHL, was scratched just before the game began.

"It's too bad he couldn't play," Sweden winger Carl Hagelin said. "We lost a really good player."

Backstrom was listed in the lineups distributed before the game, and forward Daniel Alfredsson said the team was told he wouldn't play just before it started.

Swedish Olympic Committee spokesman Bjorn Folin said the banned substance was in an allergy medication that Backstrom has taken for the past seven years.

Backstrom is the sixth athlete to fail a doping test at the games. Five of the six, including Backstrom, tested positive for minor stimulants that are often found in food supplements.

Several of Backstrom's teammates declined to comment on his positive test, with Hagelin saying only that he thinks "it's a bit strange."

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- AP

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