Bedard gets conditional discharge, probation for child abduction

Former Olympic champion Myriam Bedard was given a conditional discharge and two years' probation on Tuesday for violating a child custody order involving her daughter.

Former Olympian wanted to avoid a criminal record so that she could travel and work

Former Olympic champion Myriam Bédard was given a conditional discharge and two years' probation on Tuesday for violating a child custody order involving her daughter.

Bédard, 37,wanted to avoid a criminal record so that she could continue to travel around the world and earn a living, she tolda Quebec Superior Court at her sentencing hearing in Quebec City.

The former Olympic champion explained that, as a volunteer member of the International Biathlon Committee, sheis working on anti-doping policies, which requires her to travel outside Canada.

Bédard also said she is taking partin efforts to create an Olympic biathlon team in India.

She said she'd like to continue travelling with her daughter, who is now 12.

The two-time gold medallist was found guilty on one count of child abduction after she violated a custody agreement.

She was accused of breaching a custody order last fall when she took her daughter, her only child, to the United States, along with her boyfriend, former art dealer Nima Mazhari.

An international warrant was issued in her name and she was extradited to Canada last December, spending a total of 14 days in jail.

TheTuesday sentencefalls short of an unconditional discharge, which is what her lawyer John Pepper Jr. wanted for his client.

Crown prosecutor Josée Lemieux asked that Bédard be given a sentence to be served in the community.

The charge of child abduction carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Bédard was crowned the darling of Canadian sports after she won two gold medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

With files from the Canadian Press