Rogers Sportsnet hockey writer Chris Johnston was among the first to report the news:
Swedish officials confirm Backstrom tested positive for a banned substance. Believed to be allergy medication. Press conference to come.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 23, 2014
Swedish coach Par Marts says he found out Nicklas Backstrom couldn't play two hours before the game.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 23, 2014
Par Marts on Nicklas Backstrom: "It sucks, it's like kindergarten. I think we should have the right conditions to compete against Canada."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 23, 2014
Swedish coach Par Marts says that the IOC has "made things up here" regarding its decision on Nicklas Backstrom.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 23, 2014
Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post talked to the medical chief of the International Hockey Federation about Backstrom's positive test:
Top medical official from Intl Hockey Federation: We feel strongly... that [Backstrom] is an innocent victim of circumstances.— Dave Sheinin (@DaveSheinin) February 23, 2014
IIHF medical chief implies Backstrom's silver medal may hinge on result of test of B sample.— Dave Sheinin (@DaveSheinin) February 23, 2014
Backstrom later spoke to the media about test and what missing the gold medal game meant to him (via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN and Sheinin)"
Backstrom: "It was shocking to me." Says he's been taking same medication for 7 years— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 23, 2014
Backstrom near tears: "I was ready to play probably the biggest game of my career, and 2 1/2 hrs before game I got pulled aside. It’s sad."— Dave Sheinin (@DaveSheinin) February 23, 2014
According to Larry Lage of The Associated Press (via The Huffington Post), Swedish Olympic Committee spokesman Bjorn Folin said, "Backstrom tested positive for a substance found in an allergy medication that he has taken for seven years."
Backstrom was forced to sit out of Sweden's gold-medal matchup against Canada Sunday in a 3-0 loss. The Swedes certainly missed Backstrom on the ice, and they were already dealing with injuries to Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen.
According to Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski, sources close to the situation say Backstrom was tested Friday and was told he came back positive Sunday prior to Sweden's warm-up.
Because Backstrom has taken this substance for so long prior to this situation, it's likely that his positive test was the result of an accident or him simply not knowing what substances are banned by the International Olympic Committee.
As for any implications with the NHL, it seems unlikely that Backstrom will face any punishment from the league (via Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington):
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly issues statement saying he does not foresee Nicklas Backstrom being banned from NHL play. #CapitalsTalk— Chuck Gormley (@ChuckGormleyCSN) February 23, 2014
As a result, it remains to be seen what impact the positive test will have moving forward. With the Olympics concluding Sunday, the 26-year-old center will soon be turning his attention back to the NHL and the Washington Capitals.