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3 more test positive

Sochi: Sweden’s Nicklas Backstrom missed Sunday’s Olympic ice hockey final at the Sochi Winter Olympics after testing positive for a banned substance. As a result, Backstrom emerged as the sixth athlete — and the third on Sunday — to have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs at the Sochi Games.

Without assistant captain Backstrom, one of their star forwards, Sweden lost the gold medal game 0-3 to Canada. “I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide,” Backstrom told reporters. “It was shocking to me and at the same time I’m here right now and I have to deal it,” he added.

“I haven’t done anything differently in the past seven years and I’ve been playing internationally all that time,” he said.

Earlier on the day, Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr, who was placed eighth in the Sochi Olympics skiathlon, has tested positive for performance-boosting EPO and has been excluded from the Games. Whereas, Latvian men’s ice hockey player Vitaljis Pavlovs was thrown out of the Games after he tested positive for methylhexaneamine.

Pavlovs and Duerr were the fourth and fifth athletes respectively to test positive at the Winter Games, which concluded on Sunday.

“I am shocked,” Austrian Olympic chief Karl Stoss said. “His immediate exclusion from the Olympic team has been completed.”

The International Ski Federation said the athlete had also been withdrawn from the men’s 50km mass start free.

German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, Italian bobsleigh athlete William Frullani and Ukraine’s cross-country skier Marina Lisogor have also been caught doping at Russia’s first Winter Games.

The IOC has conducted a record 2,500 doping tests in Sochi. The 2010 Vancouver Olympics had one positive case. At the Turin 2006 Olympics, the Austrian cross country and biathlon teams had their headquarters raided by Italian police and drugs testers in a high-profile doping scandal.