STOCKHOLM (AP) - A Swedish ice hockey player risks being barred for two years and losing the contract with his major league club after testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, the first suspected doping case in the Swedish premier ice hockey division. Patrik Nilson, 22, said he bought the stimulant during a visit to Florida earlier this year, but didn't realize it was banned. He flunked the test during a training session with his new team, Djurgarden of Stockholm, on June 17. "It was a shock. It feels tragic," Nilson said in an interview with Swedish radio aired Thursday.
Nilson is a brother of Marcus Nilson, who plays for the Florida Panthers. "This is the worst thing that has happened in my hockey career, even though it hasn't happened to me personally," Marcus Nilson was quoted as telling the Swedish news agency TT. The results of a second test will determine whether Patrik Nilson loses his contract and is barred for two years. "If also the B test is positive, the contract will be cancelled," Djurgarden chairman Mats Larsson said. "The substance was in a preparation Patrik bought on his own initiative in the U.S.A. This is of course a great tragedy for Patrik and we suffer with him but the use of a banned preparation is something that can never be defended and is against everything we stand for in Djurgarden." Patrik Nilson, who is suspended from the team until the B test has been analysed, said he acted in good faith when he bought the steroid. "I read the text on the can which was sold to me over the counter in a health shop in Florida and I did not realize it contained any banned substances," he said. He signed the contract with major league club Djurgarden in 1997, but for the past two seasons has been on loan to first division team Mora. He has also played 42 matches for the Swedish national youth team. Other Swedish hockey players have been reprimanded for consuming prohibited substances, but in those cases it involved common medicines apparently taken without intent to seek any performance enhancement.