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Nicklas Backstrom to get Sochi Olympics medal despite doping charge

Nicklas Backstrom to get Sochi Olympics medal despite doping charge
Center Nicklas Backstrom of Sweden takes a break during a Capitals practice in Arlington, Va. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Swedish hockey player Nicklas Backstrom, hit with a doping charge during the Sochi Olympics, did not get to play in the gold-medal game against Canada.

Now, at least he will get a silver medal.

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Backstrom was taking Zyrtec-D for his allergies during the Winter Games. A team doctor had assured him the medication conformed to Olympic rules, and Backstrom listed it on an official doping control form during the tournament.

But the pseudoephedrine in those pills is banned at certain levels, and when testers detected an excess in his urine sample, the International Olympic Committee issued a provisional suspension shortly before the men's hockey final.

Without the Washington Capitals player in the lineup, Sweden lost, 3-0.

An IOC statement on Friday supported the suspension but said there was no indication that Backstrom was trying to improperly boost his performance. Officials cited his honesty and cooperation in awarding him the medal.

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