The International Olympic Committee has decided to give Nicklas Backstrom a silver medal after the Swedish forward was suspended from the gold medal game at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi for failing a drug test.
“There was also no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance by taking a prohibited substance,” the IOC wrote in a statement Friday. “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.”
Backstrom failed a drug test for taking Zyrtec-D, which he used to treat a sinus issue.
The Washington Capitals center takes the same medicine during the NHL season and has never been suspended, which is one reason why the IOC’s ruling was such a surprise.
Without their top-line center, Sweden’s offense struggled and it lost 3-0 to Canada in the Olympic final. Backstrom did not receive a silver medal during the postgame ceremony like the rest of his Swedish teammates.