Nicklas Backstrom was absent for Sunday’s gold medal game in Sochi, which Sweden dropped 3-0 to Canada. Initial reports indicated Backstrom was sitting out due to migraines but Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski later revealed (thanks to an NHLPA source) that Backstrom failed a doping test, making him ineligible to play.
The failed test reportedly came on Friday and was allegedly caused by allergy medicine taken by Backstrom. Deadspin speculates that Pseudoephedrine, a substance that is found in allergy medicines and banned by the International Olympic Committee, may be the source of the failed test.
Backstrom was reportedly pulled out of the locker room following pregame skate, after he had already been announced in the lineup.
If it was indeed just allergy medicine that caused the failed test, that’s a really crappy break for one of Sweden’s top offensive forwards. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of preparing for a gold medal game, only to find out minutes before opening puck drop that you’ve been banned. Also doesn’t help that the Swedes proceeded to get shut out by the Canadians.
It’s worth noting that Backstrom’s grandma saw this coming.