Olympic Names In The News: Backstrom Fails IOC Doping Test, Misses Gold Medal Game
In DC, Carrera & Sheinin reported Capitals and Sweden C NICKLAS BACKSTROM was pulled from yesterday's Gold Medal hockey game against Canada after he "tested positive for a banned substance found in his allergy medication." He was found to have an "elevated level of pseudoephedrine," which is prohibited by the IOC but not the NHL. The "timing of his removal ... raises questions about the IOC's testing process." Backstrom was tested Wednesday, but "neither he nor team officials were informed of the positive result until hours before" yesterday's game (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/23). Sweden coach PAR MARTS "was only told 20 minutes before the final that his center couldn’t play" (AP, 2/23).
STEAMED AT THE STREAM: The GLOBE & MAIL's Carly Weeks noted RBC, a "major Olympic sponsor" for the COC, cut the online feed of the Canada-USA men's semifinal hockey game Friday "during the first period over fears its computer system would be pushed over capacity." RBC Senior Manager of Media Relations JASON GRAHAM said that the decision "had nothing to do with fears of falling workplace productivity." He added that the company sent an e-mail to employees Friday morning "warning them the live feed may be cut if the bank felt the number of computers streaming the game would impact the performance of its network" (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/22).
CANADA EYES ANOTHER BID: The CP's Lori Ewing reported COC President MARCEL AUBUT "hopes Canada bids to host another Games" before his term ends in '17. Aubut yesterday said, "What I want is Canada to get interested again, be serious about bidding for Olympics, winter and summer really ... fine with me." He said that Canada's summer athletes "need the lasting legacy of a home Olympics that winter athletes have enjoyed" since the '88 Calgary and '10 Vancouver Games (CP, 2/23).
SATISFIED WITH SECURITY: U.S. Ambassador to Russia MICHAEL MCFAUL on Saturday said that there "have been 'bits and pieces' of intelligence information that have raised security concerns about the Sochi Winter Olympics, but overall the event has been safe." He said that the U.S. "has remained in close contact with Russian authorities throughout the Games." McFaul: "We are satisfied with the cooperation. I don't want to jinx us, but so far, so good" (WSJ.com, 2/22).