Olympics

Forsberg denies Sweden threw game at 2006 Olympics

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STOCKHOLM (AP)

Peter Forsberg is backtracking on comments he made in a TV interview suggesting Sweden threw a group-stage game at the 2006 Turin Olympics to get an easier draw in the second round.

The 3-0 loss to Slovakia meant Sweden, which went on to win the men's ice hockey gold medal, faced Switzerland instead of Canada in the quarterfinals.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Forsberg told Swedish broadcaster SVT that he ''saw no reason to win the game'' against Slovakia.

''But there was no order from any coach that we should lose,'' Forsberg said. ''Maybe we discussed within the group that it's probably better if don't go out and tire ourselves out too much.''

The International Ice Hockey Federation asked the Swedish federation for an explanation, and on Wednesday, Forsberg said his comments were taken out of context. In a statement to Swedish news agency TT he said no coach or player ''talked about not doing their best in the match against Slovakia.''

The former Colorado Avalanche star said he didn't mean to put Swedish ice hockey ''in a bad light'' and that he hadn't phrased himself properly.

''What I meant to say was that even for someone like me, with a winning mentality, it is sometimes difficult to find full motivation for a match that doesn't have to be won at any cost,'' Forsberg said.

Swedish Ice Hockey Federation chairman Christer Englund told The Associated Press that no other players on the 2006 team had said anything about throwing the game and that he considered the issue closed following Forsberg's statement.

''And I assume the same goes for the IIHF,'' Englund said.

In an email to the AP, IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg said the issue was under review but ''it will under no circumstances change the final standings.''

Forsberg played on the Colorado Avalanche's two Stanley Cup championship teams in 1996 and 2001 and also played on two world championship and two Olympic gold medal teams for Sweden.

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