March 19, 2010
Sweden advances to the semifinals after they stole two points in the eighth end to win the tiebreaker game over Italy 6-5.
Team Italy skip Andrea Tabanelli started off strong when they scored three in the first end. Team Sweden skip Jalle Jungnell was trying to find ways to close the gap after trading single points for three ends when he stole one in the fifth end to get within one of Italy. Italy was leading Sweden 5-4 going into the eighth end holding the hammer. Unfortunately, Italy was unable to work around the guards and that allowed Sweden to steal their fate with two points.
Final score was Sweden 6 Italy 5.
Sweden went on to victory even though they were shaken by news that Team Sweden vice skip Glenn Ikonen tested positive for a banned substance. “I am shocked. I couldn’t imagine this. I am an old man. I’m 54 years old. I would never take anything I can’t take” said Ikonen “I’m disappointed in my doctor at home. I told him I didn’t want anything [banned substance] I can’t take” Apparently, Ikonen has been taking it for three years not being aware that it was a banned substance.
The banned substance that Glen Ikonen tested positive for was Metoprolol. It is a beta blocker that is used to bring blood pressure down. “I don’t see any advantage [of it in Wheelchair Curling] said team manager Thomas Wilhelm.
Ikonen has been banned from playing for two years. “He did not try hide it. He had not checked to see if it was a banned substance” said Hans Safstrom (SWE), Chef de Mission.
UPDATE: During the Press Conference, Swedish Chef de Mission Hans Safstrom stated that Glenn Ikonen the fourth player on the Swedish Team who committed a possible anti-doping rule violation would not be able to compete for two years.
At the request of the Swedish Paralympic Committee a hearing was held last evening with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in Whistler. This hearing was adjourned to enable the athlete to provide further information. His provisional suspension/disqualification remains in place until further notice.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) refrains from further statements until the case is officially closed by the IPC.
The semifinals are set for 10:00 Saturday with the medal games following at 3:30.
Great Britain 3-6