Reuters - Fri, 26 Feb 11:41:00 2010
Canada's ice hockey women look set to avoid punishment after celebrating their gold medal with cans of beer and cigars on the ice.
The nation's hockey federation has apologised for the wild scenes, which were seen as breaking the Olympic spirit of sportsmanship and civilised behaviour, but Vancouver 2010 chiefs said they would not launch a formal probe into the players' actions.
"Yes, we will look into this matter but it is not an investigation," said Mark Adams, International Olympic Committee spokesman.
Without a formal investigation the IOC it looked unlikely the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Hockey Canada or the players would face any sanctions for their post game partying.
Members of the Canadian team, still wearing their medals and uniforms, returned to the ice long after spectators had left Canada Hockey Place following their 2-0 gold medal match win over the United States.
They partied for nearly 30 minutes, drinking beer, smoking cigars and laying stretched out across the ice while joking with photographers and cleaning staff.
One player was seen by reporters climbing onboard the ice resurfacing machine parked on the ice, honking the horn several times and appearing to try to drive it.
Hockey Canada issued a statement saying it did not condone such behaviour and apologised if their players' celebrations had offended anyone.
"The members of Team Canada apologise if their on-ice celebrations, after fans had left the building, have offended anyone," said the statement.
"In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn't have.
"The team regrets that its gold medal celebration may have caused the IOC or COC any embarrassment."
Canada scored two first-period goals from Marie-Philip Poulin to claim a 2-0 win over the United States and claim a third consecutive gold medal.
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