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Report: Backstrom tests positive for banned substance (Update: Swedish team confirms)

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 8 - Sweden v Latvia

during the Men’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C game on day eight of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Martin Rose

Just minutes before the gold medal game, it was revealed that forward Nicklas Backstrom wouldn’t be available for the contest.

Initially there were reports suggesting that he had a migraine, but an NHLPA source reported that Backstrom actually tested positive for a banned substance, according to Yahoo! Sports.

If that’s true, then he was pulled out of the Swedish locker room prior to the team’s pregame warmups, but after he was already initially listed as being part of the lineup. The positive test apparently came on Friday.

It’s worth adding that this might still be related to the original migraine reports. Some migraine medication count as banned substances, per CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, so that might have been why he tested positive. That being said, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Backstrom wouldn’t be the first men’s hockey player to have tested positive over the course of this tournament. Latvia’s Vitalijs Pavlovs was disqualified for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.

UPDATE: The Swedish team has confirmed the report, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. More to follow.

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