July 24th, 2024

Ice dancer Sorensen says he deserves to be at worlds amid sexual assault allegation

By The Canadian Press on March 6, 2024.

Ice dancer Nikolaj Sorensen of Canada waves as he adjusts his skates at practice ahead of the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Canada's figure skating team is taking the ice at the Bell Centre ahead of the world championships set for March 18-24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

MONTREAL – Ice dancer Nikolaj Sorensen believes he and partner Laurence Fournier Beaudry deserve to compete for Canada at the figure skating world championships this month amid sexual assault allegations surrounding the Danish-Canadian athlete.

The world championships are set for March 18 to 24 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry withdrew from the Canadian championship in Calgary in January after USA Today reported earlier that month an American figure skating coach and former skater accused Sorensen of sexually assaulting her in Hartford, Conn., in 2012.

The allegations have not been proven in court. Sorensen called the allegations false in an Instagram post and stated the pair withdrew from nationals because they felt it would be a distraction.

Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry returned to competition for the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Beijing at the end of January, winning a silver medal. Skate Canada then named Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry to the Canadian world championship team last month. Skate Canada chief executive officer Debra Armstrong says the organization chose the athletes based on selection criteria.

Skate Canada says the case is now in the hands of Canada’s Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner. Sorensen says he cannot comment on the details of the case.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2024.

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