An ongoing legal issue involving medalists in the team figure skating competition at the Beijing Olympics has delayed the awards ceremony, the International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday.
The ceremony for the gold medals for the Russian team, the silver for the United States and the bronze for Japan was removed from its scheduled slot on Tuesday evening.
Canada placed fourth and could 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 skating governing body was the reason the ceremony was delayed. The details of the case were not specified.
“We have athletes who have won medals,” Adams said at the daily press conference.
WATCH | IOC spokesman Adams discusses the legal situation:
The IOC said it would provide an update on 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.” A spokesperson for the Russian Figure Skating Federation told the country’s official news that the organization was “waiting for official confirmation on this issue.”
If an athlete and team were disqualified, an appeal would likely follow to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Some skaters in the men’s competition are due to finish their races on Thursday and leave China soon after.
“Everyone is doing absolutely everything to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible,” Adams said.
However, he warned ‘as you know legal issues can sometimes drag on’.
Teenager Madeline Schizas’ terrific Olympic debut underscored 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 for Canada: