Swedish coach ‘furious’ about Backstrom ban, claims IOC ‘made things up’

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Swedish coach Par Marts was livid following a 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal final, but it wasn’t about the result.

Marts took direct aim at the IOC after Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom was declared ineligible to play due to taking a banned substance, suggesting the entire situation was “made up.”

“I think IOC has made things up here,” Marts said, per NHL.com. “It sucks.”

Marts wasn’t done there.

“I’m furious that it can happen in this damned way,” he said, per Swedish news outlets TT/SVT. “It’s inconceivable that it can happen. We’re all angry that we weren’t able to compete with a full squad.”

Backstrom, 26, was apparently banned due to an issue with allergy medicine he’s been taking daily for the last seven years — including at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver — according to a Swedish team doctor. The Capitals center had been a vital contributor leading up to the gold medal game, notching four assists through five games while averaging over 18 minutes per night. What’s more, Backstrom’s presence was crucial as Sweden had lost a pair of centers — Henrik Zetterberg, who was lost during the tournament, and Henrik Sedin, who was removed from the team just prior to the start of the Games.

Marts told reporters he only found out about the Backstrom ruling two hours prior to puck drop, and was angry about the timing, noting that Backstrom was tested Friday but notified of the results on Sunday.

As such, there was little surprise Marts was so emotional about losing Backstrom, acknowledging it did have an impact on his team.

“Backstrom, what happened with him, that affected us,” he said. “It’s only human beings sitting in there.”