SOCHI, Russia -- Swedish centre Nicklas Backstrom watched from the athletes village as his teammates lost 3-0 to Canada in the Olympic mens hockey final because he failed a doping test for a substance found in an allergy medication. "I was ready to play the biggest game of my career," Backstrom said Sunday following the game. "And two-and-a-half hours before the game, I got pulled aside." Backstrom paused, choked with emotion and appeared to be on the verge of tears. "Its sad," he said. The Swedish hockey team, meanwhile, was simply mad at the International Olympic Committee. "We are all very upset," said Tommy Boustedt, the teams general manager. "Our opinion is that IOC has destroyed one of the greatest hockey days in Swedish history." Boustedt lashed out at the IOC about the timing of its decision, saying it was "political" because it would make news. The governing body refused to fire back. "We will not comment on any potential process until it has concluded," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. The International Ice Hockey Federation is taking the silver medal that would have been given to Backstrom in the post-game ceremony to its offices in Zurich while it waits for the IOC to decide whether it can be sent to Backstrom, according to IIHF spokesman Adam Steiss. Backstrom was punished more than another player was in the same situation four years ago. While playing for Slovakia at the 2010 Olympics, defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky tested positive for the same banned substance -- pseudoephedrine -- and was only reprimanded by the IOC because it said he declared on his doping control form that he was taking the medication. Backstrom, likewise, said he hasnt hid the fact that he takes the substance that is banned by the IOC during competition and was told by his Olympic team doctor he could take one pill a day without possible penalty. He was tested Wednesday after helping the Swedes beat Slovenia in the quarter-finals. He was pulled out of Swedens locker room four days later, just two-plus hours before the Sochi Games finale, and was informed he couldnt play. The Washington Capitals standout was supported by his Olympic team, NHL franchise, NHL Players Association and the IIHF. "I am convinced that Nicklas and the NHLPA will take this further," Boustedt said in Swedish during a news conference that lasted about 40 minutes. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Day issued a statement saying the substance Backstrom tested positive for is not on the leagues list of banned substances. "We do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas eligibility," Daly said. The Capitals sent out a statement saying Backstrom has been taking the allergy medication intermittently for seven years, including this season, to cope with severe allergies. "The test was done on Wednesday and he was pulled out two hours before a game on Sunday, I think thats certainly flawed," NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider said. Dr. Mark Aubry, chief medical officer of the IIHF, said Backstrom provided information correctly to the IOC about the medication he was taking. "He is the innocent victim of circumstances," Aubry said. Backstroms suspension from the gold-medal game may be a point of contention when the NHL and NHLPA negotiate with IOC about whether to let their players participate in the 2018 Olympics. He was listed in the team lineups distributed before the game, and his teammates later found out he wouldnt be with them on the ice. "Its too bad he couldnt play," Sweden winger Carl Hagelin said. "We lost a really good player." 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. "They need examples to scare cheaters with, Nick is not one of them," Boustedt said. "And, thats why its awful." Rod Brind Amour Jersey .C. -- The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday theyve signed free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, helping rebuild a depleted wide receiving corps. Justin Faulk Jersey .Do you have to be that close? Federer snapped at a TV cameraman hovering nearby as he received medical advice after losing a set on Wednesday.For Nadal and Sharapova, the nuisance was coming from the lowly-ranked qualifiers across the net. http://www.hockeyhurricanes.com/customized/. Judging by his performance Saturday night, Cotto has plenty left in the tank. Cotto became the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world championships in four weight divisions, stopping Sergio Martinez in their WBC world middleweight title fight Saturday night. Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys . A better question yet may be this: How many times has the same player been involved in both? Morneau hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and helped the Colorado Rockies turn the third triple play in team history as they beat the San Diego Padres 8-6 on Sunday.WASHINGTON - Even the most well-crafted and sensible play can be changed at the line of scrimmage. Though hes no Peyton Manning, Masai Ujiri recognizes the value in allowing circumstance to dictate his next move. Like everyone else, the Raptors first-year general manager has been pleasantly surprised by how well his team has performed in the aftermath of the Rudy Gay trade and as a result, the rebuild has been put on hold for as long as they continue to win, maybe permanently. "These guys, theres a good spirit about them," Ujiri gushed moments before his team made quick work of the Wizards, 101-88 Friday evening, winning their fifth in a row. "They like playing with each other, they play hard, they give it their all on the court and in the NBA that goes a long way." "So well keep it going and this is credit to the players and the coaches." When Gay was shipped to Sacramento - along with his $17.8 salary and $19.3 player option for next season - nearly a month ago, Ujiri was admittedly looking ahead to the future. "Long-term, I would think," he responded when pressed about the expected payoff of the deal the day it was made official. The move was executed with roster flexibility in mind. Many believed it would be the first in a series of changes made with the intention of gutting a roster that started the season 6-12 and, at the time, seemed universally flawed. "Well watch this team and see where it goes from there," Ujiri said back on December 9th. "I couldnt tell you where the team is going to go from here. Sometimes you have to make change. Were trying to figure out how we can make this team better whether its now or in the future, we have to keep that in mind." Fridays win in Washington - a game that was over before the end of a 36-point third quarter - was Torontos 10th in 13 games since the trade was made on that fateful night in Los Angeles. The Raptors have recorded 20 or more assists in 10 of those games - culminating in a season-high 29 assist performance against the Wizards - a feat they accomplished in just three of 18 games to begin the campaign. "Besides the winning it just feels good, were all playing together," said DeMar DeRozan, who had five dimes to go along with a game-high 20 points against the Wizards as the Raptors moved above the .500 mark for the first time - this late in the season - since April of 2010. "I think you could tell, were just going out there and having fun, were playing with one another." Ujiri gave the Gay experiment an 18-game audition. It was an unmitigated disaster. With a little help from a historically terrible Eastern Conference, this group of holdovers - a roster pieced together to kill time and lose games before the nnext domino was ready to fall - has earned the right to ride this out.dddddddddddd "The NBA is a crazy league, one day its great, the next day its tough," Ujiri acknowledged. "I think everybody is encouraged. Im really happy how everybody has taken the opportunity and everybody is growing in the organization." For Ujiri and company the goal is to win, that has not changed, but taking a few steps back to take the ultimate step forward was - at least at one point - being strongly considered and could be revisited when and if this team comes back down to earth. "Ive communicated to everybody where we stand," Ujiri insisted. "We want to be a good team, we want to be a winning team and if its not that way we have to figure out a way to rebuild the team or figure it out. So I think everybodys clear on how this thing works." At least for the moment, that rebuild does not seem necessary and Ujiri is savvy enough to know when to hold em. Not only are the Raptors turning heads with impressive victories in Dallas and Oklahoma City, or at home to Indiana, but theyre taking care of business against beatable teams, which was the case Friday against an overachieving Wizards club. "Youve got to look at it like, a woman is a woman," DeRozan said with a smirk on his face, perhaps realizing the outgy after he was asked about a "less-sexy" match-up against the Wizards following morning shoot-around. Washington had won five of its last seven but that team was nowhere to be found as the Raptors ran them out of their own, unsettlingly quiet arena. Toronto was on cruise control after outscoring the Wizards by nine in the first quarter and 20 in the third. Again, Kyle Lowry was brilliant, scoring 19 and assisting on 11 buckets. The Raptors will face Miami and Indiana - the Easts two best teams - on the road next but dont seem like a team anyone would or should feel comfortable betting against. "You feel good but again, I know what a marathons all about," said Dwane Casey, the Conferences reigning Coach of the Month. "Ive been in it too many years, seen it too many times to get too excited or too low. Im going to be the same way if we lose five in a row or win five in a row, you have to be in this league because it can turn around and knock you in the butt and thats what Ive got to get these guys to do." One day at a time. Thats how Casey and his players are approaching it, despite a remarkable run that has them sitting on top of their division, bearing down on third-place Atlanta. That is also the mantra of Ujiri, the Raptors patient assassin, who has wisely altered his game plan and may do so a few more times before the season comes to a close. ' ' '