SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Sweden center Nicklas Backstrom failed a doping test at the Sochi Games, testing positive for a substance found in an allergy medication, a spokesman for the country’s Olympic Committee said Sunday.
Backstrom, who plays for the Washington Capitals in the NHL, was scratched before Sweden’s 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal game — the last event of the game.
‘‘It’s too bad he couldn’t play,’’ said Sweden winger Carl Hagelin. ‘‘We lost a really good player.’’
Backstrom was listed in the lineups distributed before the game, and forward Daniel Alfredsson said the team was told he wouldn’t play just before it began.
Swedish Olympic Committee spokesman Bjorn Folin said the banned substance was in an allergy medication that Backstrom has taken for the past seven years.
Backstrom is the sixth athlete to fail a doping test at the games. Five of the six, including Backstrom, tested positive for minor stimulants that are often found in food supplements.
Several of Backstrom’s teammates declined to comment on his positive test after the loss to Canada, with Hagelin saying only that he thinks ‘‘it’s a bit strange.’’
Associated Press writers Karl Ritter in Sochi and Malin Rising in Stockholm contributed to this report.
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