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Saturday 24, Jan 2015

  Olympic Doping Appeal Of Backstrom Resolved With Reprimand

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Olympic Doping Appeal Of Backstrom Resolved With Reprimand

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has withdrawn his appeal against ruling of the International Olympic Committee that he violated World Anti-Doping Agency law.

Backstrom, the Swedish professional ice hockey centre and an alternate captain for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, was allowed to keep the silver medal he earned playing for Sweden in the Sochi Olympics last February. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Backstrom had not intended to gain any competitive advantage by using the medication.

According to a joint announcement between Backstrom, WADA, and the IOC, Backstrom agreed upon a reprimand that is the minimum application sanction permitted by the WADA code. The announcement said the final decision was reached for Backstrom to remove his appeal and the World Anti-Doping Agency to issue a reprimand after constructive discussions between Backstrom’s representatives and those of the IOC, WADA, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

It was also revealed by the announcement that at no time was Backstrom’s receipt of his Olympic silver medal at issue in the proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The announcement emphasized that Backstrom did not intend to enhance his sport performance by taking a prohibited substance, that the prohibited substance (PSE) was contained within a product Backstrom was taking for medical reasons, that Backstrom relied on the specific advice of his team doctor that his use of the product would not give rise to a positive sample, and that he openly disclosed the product on the doping control form at the time of the doping control.

Backstrom received the full support of Coach Barry Trotz, his teammates, and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly when it emerged that the World Anti-Doping Agency had appealed the IOC’s decision to exonerate Backstrom. In early December, Daly said the NHL supports Nick in this circumstance and added that he thinks there were unfair circumstances surrounding the determination, and unfortunately it is still in litigation.

The 27-year-old Swede was judged to have committed an anti-doping rule violating on March 14, 2014 based on elevated pseudoephedrine levels. Backstrom tested positive for pseudoephedrine after Sweden’s win over Slovenia in the Olympic quarterfinals on February 19, 2014. The Washington Capitals centre claimed the stimulant was contained in a sinus medication he had been taking for allergies. Nicklas Backstrom was suspended and pulled from the Swedish team just hours before the February 23 gold-medal game, which Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada. The timing of the decision angered the Swedes who said it affected the team’s performance.

Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient found in his allergy medication not banned by the National Hockey League (NHL). This resulted in Backstrom getting barred from playing in the gold medal game. Later, Backstrom was awarded his silver medal in a ceremony in Sweden on August 28.

On April 2, 2014, Backstrom filed his appeal and challenged that an anti-doping rule violation had occurred. The World Anti-Doping Agency filed its appeal on October 9, 2014 and tried to counter ruling of the IIHF Disciplinary Committee that Backstrom had not violated the WADA code.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Olympic Doping Appeal Of Backstrom Resolved With Reprimand

Monday 24, Mar 2014

  Backstrom To Receive Silver Medal From Sochi Olympics

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Backstrom To Receive Silver Medal From Sochi Olympics

Nicklas Backstrom will receive his silver medal from the Sochi Games, according to a ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Swedish ice hockey player participated in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi but was kept out of the gold medal game for testing positive for a banned substance.

The test results of Backstrom revealed an elevated level of pseudoephedrine that is found in his allergy medication Zyrtec-D. The medication is a permitted drug and specific levels of pseudoephedrine are prohibited by the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Federation. It was ruled by the IOC Disciplinary Commission that the provisional suspension of Backstrom for Sweden’s gold medal game vs. Canada was “fully justified” but decided to award him the medal as there was no indication that the ice hockey player was trying to enhance his performance.

The IOC Disciplinary Committee remarked it 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. The IOC Disciplinary Committee added that 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 Disciplinary Committee considered that the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men’s ice hockey. The IOC Disciplinary Commission (DC) was composed of Anita L. DeFrantz (Chairperson), Nawal El Moutawakel and Claudia Bokel.

Sweden lost the final to defending champions Canada 3-0. Swedish team manager Tommy Boustedt said at a news conference that the IOC have given amateurism a face and it’s sad that it will affect Nicklas and the hockey organization and added that the timing with this was awful and my suspicion is that this is political and they got the decision two days ago and they waited until it would make a really good impact on you journalists. The adverse finding had come from an over-the-counter medication he uses to treat a sinus condition, said Backstrom and remarked he had been using the medication for years without any problems. He also remarked he told the drug testers he was taking the drug when they asked him for a sample after his team’s quarter-final win over Slovenia. Backstrom told a news conference that he was ready to play probably the biggest game of his career then two and a half hours before the game he get pulled aside.

Swedish Team doctor Bjoern Waldeback said Backstrom has problems with sinusitis and allergic problems and he has for several years taken one pill a day of medication called Zyrtec-D and it contains psuedoephedrine. Waldeback added Nicklas was tested several times before the Olympics and Nicklas also asked him before the Games if he could use this pill, and he told him he could take one. He went on to remark that we could’ve never imagined the consequences of taking a medication that hardly affects the person and ruins the greatest day of his life.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Backstrom To Receive Silver Medal From Sochi Olympics

Sunday 02, Mar 2014

  Backstrom Misses Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game

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Backstrom Misses Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was pulled from the lineup of Sweden lineup hours before the Olympic gold medal hockey game against Canada. This was after Backstrom tested positive for a banned substance found in his allergy medication.

The test result of Nicklas Backstrom showed an elevated level of pseudoephedrine that is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee but not the NHL. However, the violation of the IOC’s anti-doping policy is not expected to prevent the Washington Capitals center from playing with the Capitals when their season resumes. The timing of Backstrom and the fact that he was taking the medication with the approval of the Swedish national team doctor raises questions about the testing process of the International Olympic Committee. Mark Aubry, chief medical officer for the International Ice Hockey Federation, said there certainly is no doping in this instance and added Backstrom is an innocent victim, and we support him strongly. Aubry added doping is certainly not allowed, but this is not a case of doping.

At a news conference, Backstrom said he had absolutely nothing to hide and disclosed that he had allergy problems. Backstrom remarked he had been there for two weeks and it was probably the most fun two weeks he have ever had. Backstrom added he was ready to play probably the biggest game of my career, and two and a half hours before the game he got pulled aside.

Backstrom had taken Zyrtec-D, a permitted drug although it contains pseudoephedrine, for seven years for treating sinusitis. The drug is allowed by the International Olympic Committee as long as levels do not exceed 150 micrograms per milliliter and is not tested outside of competition. According to Aurby, Backstrom’s level was 190.

Backstrom was tested after Sweden’s quarterfinal win over Slovenia, but neither he nor team officials were informed of the positive result until hours before the gold medal game that was after four days. The IOC defended itself by saying it had too many tests to process to deliver the result sooner. Mathieu Schneider, NHL Players Association official, remarked he didn’t see IOC statement as an acceptable explanation and cited a similar situation during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky of Slovakia tested positive for elevated pseudoephedrine levels but was allowed to be retested after two years and was ultimately allowed to play. Schneider remarked this process was flawed and added he thinks it is clear that he wasn’t intending to cheat, that he wasn’t doping and went on to add that doping is a very serious allegation, and at some point common sense should have prevailed, and it clearly did not. The ineligibility of Backstrom left Sweden, already without stars Henrik Zetterberg (because of herniated disk) and Henrik Sedin (because of injury to ribs), to miss their top remaining center and they lost the gold medal game to the Canadians, 3-0.

Swedish national hockey team general manger Tommy Boustedt accused the International Olympic Committee of sabotaging their medal dream and said he thinks they waited until it would be a real good impact with journalists. After the loss in the gold medal game, Boustedt said he thinks they had the results earlier but chose to hold onto them and they need examples to show they don’t accept doping but this isn’t it.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Backstrom Misses Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game