While I enjoy the Olympics and know there is only one gold-medal winner, I certainly feel bad for how it concluded for our hockey players who participated. They are all fine young men, and I’m proud of all of them and how they comported themselves, sometimes in difficult circumstances. I know there is great pride in representing your country, and in a short tournament everyone enters with high expectations. Losing on the ice is difficult, but not being able to participate in the gold-medal game comes with increased disappointment and frustration
The IOC, with two-hour’s notice before the gold-medal game, informed Team Sweden that is was effectively benching Nicklas Backstrom for what it termed as elevated levels of pseudoephedrine that were detected in a drug test that was administered Wednesday. Nick has taken the same prescribed medication for chronic and sometimes severe allergies for many years and has been drug tested many times without incident. I’m not exactly sure what transpired here, but we feel terribly for Nick. His medication was approved by the Swedish National Team, and he felt it was consistent with what he has done in the past.
I found these two comments at SportsIllustrated.com as the best way to sum it up:
“I certainly feel strong as a medical person that there certainly is no doping in this instance. He is an innocent victim, and we support him strongly." - IIHF chief medical officer Dr. Mark Aubry
“I have absolutely nothing to hide. It was a little shocking to me if I’m being honest with you…. I feel like I haven’t done anything differently now than in the different years.”- Nicklas Backstrom
Congratulations to all the teams and players who earned medals. I’m looking forward to our players returning to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for Tuesday’s practice and Thursday’s game at Florida – it’s time to focus on the remaining 23 games of our schedule.