Canada retained their Olympic ice hockey crown at the Bolshoy Ice Dome as the
grand sporting climax to the Games was engulfed by another doping scandal.
The reigning champions outclassed Sweden 3-0 after the Scandinavians had been
forced to play without their vice-captain Nicklas Backstrom, who had tested
positive for the banned stimulant, pseudoephedrine.
Backstrom, one of Sweden’s star forwards, says he was dumbfounded to be told
only two and a half hours before the game of his positive test, insisting:
“I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide. It was shocking to me and at the same
time I’m here right now and I have to deal it.”
The Swedish team doctor Bjoern Waldeback said the stimulant was contained in a
pill Backstrom had been taking to treat allergies for many years.
“It’s a permitted drug. We told them he had one pill per day as he has for the
past seven years,” Waldeback said.
Sweden coach Par Marts was left raging about losing Backstrom so close to the
final, believing that, as the test was taken on Wednesday, the International
Olympic Committee must have known about the result before Sunday’s final.
“It feels like a great miscarriage of justice,” he said. “The IIHF
(International Ice Hockey Federation) have doctors here who said that they
thought Nicklas should play but the International Olympic Committee said he
“If you get to hear about it two hours before the game it feels like they (the
IOC) are playing some kind of game. It’s just rude. You can’t just do
something like that.”
Forced to reshuffle at the last minute, the Swedes were then outplayed with
Canadian captain Sidney Crosby, their answer to David Beckham who was the
2010 hero when he scored the overtime winner that sank the USA, once again
netting a superb solo goal in the rout.
Backstrom’s failed test made him the sixth athlete to be thrown out of the
Games for doping offences, following German biathlete Evi
Sachenbacher-Stehle, Ukrainian cross country skier Marina Lisogor, Austrian
cross country skier Johannes Duer, Italian bobsledder William Frullani and
Latvian ice hockey player Vitalijs Pavlovs.