Arrest warrant issued for Myriam Bédard

An arrest warrant has been issued for former Olympic biathlon champion Myriam Bédard, who is suspected of abducting her 11-year-old daughter, Quebec City police confirmed Wednesday.

An arrest warrant has been issued for former Olympic biathlon champion Myriam Bédard, who is suspected ofabducting her 11-year-old daughter, Quebec City police confirmed Wednesday.

Police spokeswoman Sandra Dion told CBC News Online the warrant alleges that Bédardabducted her daughter, contravening a custody order since Oct. 3.

She said the warrant was issued Dec. 5.

Dion said the girl's father, Jean Paquet, notified police in the middle of October, but didn't want to make a formal complaint. She said he later called police again, this time to file an official complaint.

Dion would not comment on where the daughter may have been taken, or if police have contacted Bédard.

"We don't want to talk about anything else,"she said. "We don't want to harm the investigation."

Myriam Bédard's father, Pierre, told CBC he's concerned about both of them.

"It's not like her [to do something like this]. She's very careful with her daughter Maude. If it was just the two of them, there wouldn't be a problem. But because her husband is there too, we're worried," he said Thursday.

Bédard and her husband Nima Mazhari went to the United States in October and did not conceal their trip, Canadian Press reported.

The couple sent letters to various Canadian and international officials, including the president of the International Olympic Committee, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Theletters were part of their continuing battle against accusations that Mazhari had stolen 20 paintings by Montreal artist Ghitta Caiserman.

He has denied the accusation. Mazhari and Bédard have argued that they were unjustly treated by the Canadian justice system and had planned to denounce their treatment outside Canada.

They claimed that "bureaucratic terrorism" is deeply rooted in the Quebec and Canadian media, police and the justice system.

Earlier this year, Bédard said her life was turned upside downfollowing hertestimony in the sponsorship scandal.

"I have a whole government machine against me," she said in an interview. "They made me pay because I spoke out."

Bédard testified that former Via Rail president Marc LeFrançois told her one of the advertising agencies implicated in the scandalwas involved in drug trafficking. LeFrançois and the agencyvehemently denied the allegation.

She also claimed former prime minister Jean Chrétien had decided not to contribute Canadian troops to the invasion of Iraq based on Mazhari's advice.

Bédard won the bronze medal in the woman's biathlon event at the 1992 Albertville Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France.She later won two gold medals in the biathlon at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

With files from the Canadian Press