Ice Hockey: Canada take gold, Backstrom fails dope test

Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:14am EST
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By Steve Keating

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Canada swept past Sweden 3-0 on Sunday in the Winter Olympics men's ice hockey final, a game Swedish forward Nicklas Backstrom missed due to a failed a dope test.

News of Backstrom's failed test broke as Canada and Sweden were accepting their medals to wild cheers at a packed Bolshoy Ice Dome. The withdrawal of one of Sweden's top players just before the game forced the Scandinavians to hastily rearrange their lineup.

Sweden head coach Par Marts said: "I got the message two hours before the game that something was wrong. I can't say anymore. The doctor will tell you what happened."

There are reports Backstrom had tested positive due to an allergy medication.

"Nobody's trying to take something that's not allowed," said Sweden netminder Henrik Lundqvist. "It's about having the paper and being clear about everything. It's very sad that it happens.

"What I heard he had taken allergy tablets that he's had all his life. It's about getting it all down on paper, (but) I don't know enough."

With one of their key centers out of the game, Sweden lacked a cutting edge.

Canada, in contrast, were razor sharp with Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Chris Kunitz finding the net to preserve their unbeaten run through the tournament.   Continued...

Canada's players huddle as they celebrate defeating Sweden in their men's ice hockey gold medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch