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Canada's Ice Hockey Governing Body Issues Apology for Players' Antics


Canada's ice hockey governing body has apologized for the post-game, alcohol-fueled antics of the national women's hockey team after its gold medal win over the United States at the Vancouver Olympics.

Thirty minutes after their victory and medal ceremony, some Canadian players took their celebration from the dressing room to the ice, where they had just shut out the U.S. women, 2-0.

Still in their Canadian team uniforms and wearing their new gold medals, the young women laughed and mugged for photographers, while drinking from bottles of champagne and cans of beer, and puffing on cigars. One player apparently tried and failed to commandeer an ice resurfacing vehicle.

The 18-year-old player Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored both of Canada's goals, was drinking beer despite being one month short of British Columbia province's legal drinking age of 19.

The IOC executive director of the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, said the players' behavior is not a "good promotion of sport values." He said the IOC will investigate.

Hockey Canada late Thursday issued a statement saying the Canadian women's national hockey team regrets if its impromptu celebrating offending anyone or embarrassed the International or Canadian Olympic Committees.

The Hockey Canada statement noted the incident on the ice occurred after fans had left the venue, but it also acknowledged that the team's celebration of its gold medal should not have left the confines of the dressing room.

A COC spokesman, Steve Keogh said celebrations such as the one by the gold medal women's hockey team are not uncommon in Canada. But he added that "actions of irresponsibility" are not condoned. He also said the COC did not provide the alcohol consumed by the women's hockey team.

An IOC official is quoted as saying it will not launch a formal probe, but will look into the incident. The report said that without an official investigation, there is little chance of any sanctions being imposed against the Canadian women's hockey team, the Canadian Olympic Committee or Hockey Canada.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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