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NHL Statement On Nicklas Backstrom

SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 23, 2014) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement regarding Nicklas Backstrom:

“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.

“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”

added 11:38am, Washington Capitals statement...

ARLINGTON, Va. – Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Team Sweden’s Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years, including this season while playing for the Washington Capitals to combat severe allergies. The medicine was approved by the Swedish national team. It is not anticipated that this will impact his participation in NHL games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, sochi+olympics, team+sweden


hdw's avatar

IIHF’s Mike Aubry concurs with the statement from NHL and stated that IIHF would stand on Bäckström’s side in the discussions with IOC.

Lubomir Visnovsky was using the same medication during the 2010 Olympics but only recieved a warning.

Posted by hdw on 02/23/14 at 01:42 PM ET


I’m not in favor of people getting busted over allergy medication, but i’ve felt for a long time that the major pro sports should have to follow the WADA standards that other olympic sports have to.  Athletes in other olympic sports could be sanctioned for 2 years for their first offense for the same thing.

Hell, I’m an amature cyclist, not a very good one even.  But USADA will be testing at some of my local races this year.  I would be barred from competing for 2 years because of this.  But, I know that its my responsibility to know whats on the list, and to not take it when competing.

It sucks that he was caught taking a medication, that research shows has a questionable performance enhancing benefits when taken at the threshold level they test for. but he and his team doctor have to be responsible for knowing what’s on the banned substance list.

Posted by jwad on 02/23/14 at 04:30 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

WADA’s standards and the IOC are not built with an eye to having a career playing the sport. In many cases, WADA standards would rob athletes of the ability to get the best care for their everyday lives because such care could be used very short-term to gain a competitive advantage in a competition that they anticipate lasting fewer than two weeks.

It would be improper for the NHL to adopt the WADA standards.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/23/14 at 05:06 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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