Updated: Monday, 24 February 2014 04:46 | By Agence France-Presse

Sweden level guns at IOC over Backstrom test

Swedish national hockey team general manger Tommy Boustedt accused the International Olympic Committee of sabotaging their gold medal dream after forward Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for an allergy medication.


Sweden level guns at IOC over Backstrom test

Sweden's Nicklas Backstrom (L) vies with Finland's Jussi Jokinen during the Men's Ice Hockey Semifinal match between Sweden and Finland at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 21, 2014 - by Yuri Kadobnov

Boustedt slammed the IOC doping officials saying they likely knew Backstrom's positive result sooner but delayed telling anyone because they wanted to wait until just before the Sochi Olympics showcase event, the gold medal hockey game.

That way they could better promote for their ongoing fight against drug cheats, he claimed.

"My suspicion is that this is political," said Boustedt at a news conference at the Bolshoi Ice Dome arena following their 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal game. 

"I think they waited until it would be a real good impact with you journalists. 

"I think they had the results earlier but chose to hold onto them. They need examples to show they don't accept doping but this isn't it. It is awful."

The IOC did not attend Sunday's news conference.

Swedish forward Backstrom was notified of the failed drug test just a couple of hours before Sweden was scheduled to play Canada in the championship game.

Mark Aubry, chief medical officer for the International Ice Hockey Federation, said Backstrom tested positive for high levels of Pseudoephedrine. Aubry said the drug was in an allergy and decongestant product Backstrom uses and is only illegal if the test score is above a certain level.

Backstrom was tested Wednesday night after Sweden's quarter-final but the team was not informed that he would be suspended until over three days later and just hours before the gold medal match.

Boustedt said they only have the results of Backstrom's A sample and they wanted more time to get the B sample tested.

- 'IOC has destroyed one of Sweden's great days' -

"We are all very upset. Our feeling is the IOC has destroyed one of the greatest hockey days in Swedish history," Boustedt said.

Washington Capitals forward Backstrom said he has been taking the same allergy medication for seven years and passed all the previous tests, including over two dozen tests conducted by National Hockey League's doping officials.

"I have nothing to hide," said Backstrom, who was tied for second in scoring on Sweden heading into the final. 

"I have allergy problems. It was shocking to me. I feel I haven't done anything wrong or anything different that I did the last seven years."

Aubry defended Backstrom saying he is an "innocent victim".

"We feel strongly that he is an innocent victim of circumstances," said Aubry. "That substance is only banned if it goes over a certain level."

Aubry said Backstrom had listed the drug on his medical forms. 

"As a medical person there is no doping in this instance," Aubry said.

Swedish coach Par Marts also accused the IOC of botching the matter.

"It sucks," Par said. "It is like kindergarten. There are rules to follow and they didn't. The IOC is making things up here."

Boustedt said he doesn't know if they would have beaten Canada Sunday with Backstrom in the lineup but not having him had a big impact on the team.

"Canada played fantastic so it might not have affected the outcome but it affected our team," he said. "It was tough to lose him that close to the game. The players were really upset."

Swedes said Backstrom's A sample came back positive but because of the late notice there was no time to test for the B sample.

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