Canada keeps tabs as emerging 'legal issue' delays team figure skating medal ceremony

An ongoing legal issue involving the medallists in the team figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics has caused the award ceremony to be delayed, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

Canadians possibly in line for upgrade to podium after finishing 4th

Canada's Madeline Schizas competes during the women's free program during the figure skating team event. The Canadian team is in line to possibly be upgraded to the podium from its fourth-place finish after an ongoing legal issue affecting medallists caused the medal ceremony to be delayed. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

An ongoing legal issue involving medallists in the team figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics has caused the award ceremony to be delayed, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

The ceremony to award the Russian team the gold medals, the United States silver and Japan bronze was pulled from its scheduled slot late Tuesday.

Canada placed fourth and could be in line to be upgraded if one of those countries is disqualified.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said an "emerging issue" with "legal consultation" required with the governing body of skating was the reason the ceremony was delayed. Details of the case were not specified.

"We have athletes that have won medals involved," Adams said at the daily news briefing.

WATCH | IOC says answers to come in figure skating medals situation:

IOC says answers to come regarding figure skating team event

6 months ago
Duration 3:42
The National's Adrienne Arsenault discusses what little is known about the delay of the team figure skating medal ceremony.

The IOC said it will provide an update Wednesday.

In a one-line statement, the International Skating Union also cited ongoing legal talks. A spokesperson for the Canadian Olympic Committee said Canada "is not involved in any way."

Reporters asked the Kremlin about it amid speculation that gold medals won by six Russian skaters could be at risk.

"Let's, for the sake of understanding, wait for some explanations either from our sports officials or from the IOC," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

If any athlete and team were disqualified, an appeal would likely follow to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

WATCH | IOC spokesman Adams discusses legal situation:

IOC confirms 'legal consultations' have postponed Olympic figure skating team event

6 months ago
Duration 0:49
International Olympic Committee Director of Communications Mark Adams confirmed in a press briefing that a "situation arose...that requires legal consultation" with the International Skating Union, resulting in the postponement of the medal ceremony for the Olympic figure skating team event.

Some skaters in the men's competition are due to finish their events Thursday and leave China soon after.

"Everyone is doing absolutely everything that the situation can be resolved as soon as possible," Adams said.

However, he cautioned "as you know, legal issues can sometimes drag on."

A terrific Olympic debut by teenager Madeline Schizas highlighted Canada's fourth-place finish in the team event.

The Canadians finished with 53 points to edge China (50).

WATCH | Madeline Schizas secures 4th-place finish for Canada:

Madeline Schizas impresses as Canada earns 4th place overall in figure skating team event

6 months ago
Duration 7:25
Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., finished in third place in the women's free program portion of the Olympic figure skating team event, as Team Canada finished fourth overall.

Four ROC athletes, including Kamila Valieva, pairs dancers Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and Mark Kondratiuk, did not appear at their practice sessions on Wednesday. It was not clear why they had not trained.

Kondratiuk also represented the ROC team and competed in Tuesday's individual short program. He advanced to the finals scheduled on Thursday.

Russian athletes are competing in Beijing as representatives of the ROC rather than their home nation due to doping sanctions.

The only ROC skaters to train were team ice dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.

With files from CBC Sports and Reuters

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