Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/23/14 at 03:56 PM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
A couple of hours before the biggest game of his young career, Nicklas Backstrom made his way to the Bolshoy Ice Dome and began warming up for the gold-medal tilt between his Swedish national team and Canada.
But by the time that game had started, Backstrom had been whisked away to a disciplinary hearing with International Olympic Committee officials over a positive test for a banned substance -- an element in an allergy medication that Backstrom has been taking for seven years, according to Swedish Olympic Committee officials -- and told he could not compete for his country.
It is absolutely mind-boggling that it came to this.
Backstrom provided the urine test in question on Wednesday, after the Swedes' quarterfinal win over Slovenia. He alerted doping officials that he was taking the medication. According to Swedish and International Ice Hockey Federation officials, the normal turnaround for such tests is 48 hours, and yet the general manager of the Swedish national team was informed that Backstrom had exceeded the threshold for an element found in the medication only two hours before the gold-medal game.
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