Canadian ice dancing champion Nikolaj Sorensen, who is under investigation for alleged sexual assault, and his skating partner Laurence Fournier Beaudry have withdrawn from the Canadian Figure Skating Championships this week in Calgary, Alberta.
USA Today reported last week that Canada's Office of the Sports Integrity Commissioner is investigating Sorensen over an alleged 2012 sexual assault of an American ski coach and former skier in Hartford, Connecticut.
Sorensen denied the allegation in an Instagram post on Tuesday, but said he and Fournier Beaudry were withdrawing from the tournament because they believed their participation would be a distraction.
“These allegations are false, and I intend to vigorously defend myself and my reputation,” he wrote.
Sorensen said he was cooperating fully with the investigation by the office, which was established in June 2022 as an independent body to deal with complaints and reports of abuse and mistreatment in sport.
In a separate Instagram post, Fournier Beaudry said the situation was difficult.
“While I strongly believe that everyone should be protected and safe in sports, I know that my partner is a man of integrity, respect, and kindness,” she wrote.
Both skaters said they would not comment further.
“Skate Canada is abiding by any and all interim measures imposed by Abuse-Free Sport's Director of Sanctions and Consequences (DSO) in relation to this case,” Skate Canada said Wednesday in a statement.
“It is also important to note that there is an ongoing investigative process subject to confidentiality requirements.”
Montreal-based Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry are the national ice dancing champions and are in ninth place at the 2022 Olympics.
They took silver medals at the Grand Prix competitions in France and Finland in November and finished fifth in the Grand Prix Final in December in Beijing.