Teammates, NHL support Backstrom after allergy drug suspension

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Associated Press

Posted on February 23, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 23 at 7:04 PM

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Sweden's Olympic hockey team is blasting the International Olympic Committee for pulling star center Nicklas Backstrom out of today's gold medal game for failing a drug test.

The team's general manager says the IOC "destroyed one of the greatest hockey days in Swedish history."

As Sweden lost to Canada 3-0, Backstrom watched from the athletes village because he tested positive for pseudoephedrine (soo-duh-FED'-rihn), a common ingredient in allergy medication.

Backstrom says he has never hidden the fact that he takes it and was told by his Olympic team doctor he could take one pill a day without possible penalty.

His NHL team, the Washington Capitals, says Backstrom has been taking the allergy medication intermittently for seven years, including this season, to cope with severe allergies.

While pseudoephedrine is banned by the IOC during competition, the NHL says it's not on the league's list of banned substances.

The chief medical officer of the International Ice Hockey Federation says Backstrom provided information correctly to the IOC about the medication he was taking.

Backstrom was tested on Wednesday after helping the Swedes beat Slovenia in the quarterfinals.

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