Sweden's Nicklas Backstrom has 13 goals and 51 assists for the Capitals this season. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will receive an Olympic silver medal despite his positive drug test at the Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced Friday.
The IOC suspended Backstrom, who played for the Swedish national team, hours before the Feb. 23 gold medal game against Canada, which the Canadians won 3-0.
The IOC says there was no intention to improve performance and ''the athlete should be entitled to receive the silver medal and diploma awarded for men's ice hockey," and that its original suspension was fully justified.
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Backstrom tested positive for the stimulant pseudoephedrine on Feb. 19, but the IOC said that Backstrom told them at a hearing that he had also taken medication containing the stimulant. The pseudoephedrine was reportedly detected because Backstrom takes Zyrtec-D to treat his sinusitis, something he has been doing for several years.
Backstrom had been ''cooperative" according to the committee, saying he disclosed the medication he had taken in his doping control form and relied on advice of his team doctor.