An ice hockey team at the Winter Olympics has refused to leave their dressing room after Russia refused to hand over information.
Canada and the team from Russia are playing out an “unprecedented” ice hockey match at the Winter Olympics where players are being forced to wear facial masks.
There was mayhem on Monday when reports first emerged the Canadian team was refusing to leave their dressing room as a result of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team refusing to hand over standard Covid test data ahead of their women’s ice hockey preliminary round match at the Wukesong Sports Centre.
Six of the 23 members of the ROC women’s ice hockey squad were earlier ordered into isolation as a result of returning positive test results.
The ROC team had already completed warm-ups and were in a huddle inside the team box when the referees informed them the match had been delayed.
The announcement of the one-hour delay came after the scheduled start time for the match had already expired. According to reports, the delay was requested by the Canadian team and was immediately granted by officials.
The Canadian team was reportedly waiting for the ROC chief medical officer to hand over the Covid testing data and were not budging from their locker room until the information was divulged.
In crazy scenes, it emerged just minutes before the re-scheduled match start time that players from both team would be required to wear N95 masks at all times during the contest.
Winter Olympics commentators were left staggered by the circus with CBC sports journalist Shireen Ahmed labelling the farce “unprecedented”.
Canadian ice hockey commentator Jeff Veillette said it was “pretty absurd” Canada was forced to play at all.
When the match finally started more than an hour after the original scheduled time, the Canadian team was merciless, scoring two quick goals inside the first period.
Six members of the ROC women’s ice hockey team were still unavailable for the match against Canada as a result of their earlier positive test results.
“We aren’t in contact with anyone in the Olympic Village,” Russian head coach Evgeny Bobariko said, per wionews.com.
“Nobody goes anywhere. Everyone sits in their rooms, food is brought to them. We only leave our rooms to get tested.
“We are not allowed to use elevator, everyone goes down using the stairs.”
Despite that nightmare start to the Games, the ROC won their opening match 5-2 against Switzerland.
As reported by the AP news agency Russia’s name and flag are banned from the Olympics in the fallout from years of doping disputes, so the team is playing as ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee.