Lausanne, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - Nicklas Backstrom's suspension for the gold medal hockey game at the Sochi Olympics was justified but the Swedish star will still receive a silver medal, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday.
The IOC disciplinary commission said Backstrom's provisional suspension for a banned substance found in allergy medication was "fully justified" because he had an excess presence of pseudoephedrine in his urine sample and conceded at a hearing before the game against Canada that he had taken the medication that day.
But the commission said there was no indication Backstrom was trying to cheat by taking a banned substance. It said it took into account his cooperation, that he had disclosed the medicine on a doping control form and that he had been told by the Swedish team doctor that it was OK to take.
"Based upon these mitigating circumstances, the IOC DC considered that the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men's ice hockey," the commission said in a news release.
News of Backstrom's suspension rocked the Swedish team just hours before the Feb. 23 game, which Canada won 3-0.
Backstrom, who plays for the Washington Capitals, did not face discipline from the NHL. The Capitals said Backstrom has taken the medicine for seven years to combat severe allergies.