By Paul Osborne

WADA is set to appeal against the decision to clear Nicklas Bäckström of any wrongdoing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games ©Getty ImagesThe World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has appealed against the decision to clear Swedish ice hockey player Nicklas Bäckström of any wrongdoing after he failed a drugs test at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Senior manager of media relations and communications at WADA, Ben Nichols, revealed that the body has appealed the decision made by the Internal Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) not to take any further disciplinary action against the Swede following his failed doping test at Sochi.

"The decision to exonerate the athlete was recently appealed by WADA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," he wrote in a statement.

Bäckström tested positive for pseudoephedrine on February 19 after a urine sample given following Sweden's quarter-final clash with Slovenia.

He was then suspended from the gold-medal final against Canada, where the North Americans ran out 3-0 victors.

Due to the suspension, the Washington Capitals star did not provisionally receive his silver medal.

Bäckström was then cleared of any wrongdoing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during a ruling on March 14 as the IOC Disciplinary Commission found "no indication of any intent of the athlete to improve his performance".

The ruling, although stating that the suspension was justified, resulted in the Swede receiving his silver medal.

Nicklas Bäckström was suspended from playing in the ice hockey final of Sochi 2014, where Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada ©Getty ImagesNicklas Bäckström was suspended from playing in the ice hockey final of Sochi 2014, where Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada ©Getty Images

WADA did not reveal whether a successful appeal would see Bäckström stripped of his silver medal, nor did it give any justification for the appeal being made.

"As with all pending cases, and adhering to the proper and normal respect for the integrity of the legal process, WADA will refrain from commenting on the subject until the appeal has been completed and a decision rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," Nichols said.

Bäckström's failed test was allegedly as a result of him taking the allergy medicine Zyrtec-D, which contains the banned substance pseudoephedrine.

During his discussion with the IOC, Bäckström claimed to have been using the medicine for seven years with no adverse analytical findings seen in the past.

Pseudoephedrine is not currently on the National Hockey League's (NHL) Prohibited Substances List, the league in which Bäckström plays his hockey.

The medicine was cleared by Swedish team doctor Bjorn Waldeback prior to the Winter Olympics, a decision classed as a "serious error" by the IOC Disciplinary Commission.

Following news of the appeal, the NHL has shown its support for Bäckström, criticising WADA's decision.

"WADA is an organisation that has clearly overgrown its original mandate and purpose," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in response to WADA's appeal, according to TSN.

"It's a travesty."

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March 2014:
 Swedish ice hockey player cleared of doping charge and awarded Olympic silver medal
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