Russian Olympic hockey player tests positive after Canada masking fiasco

Feb 8 2022, 5:27 pm

A Russian Olympic hockey player has tested positive for COVID-19 at the 2022 Beijing Games after a 6-1 loss to Canada on Monday.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) forward Polina Bolgareva tested positive for COVID-19 after suiting up in the loss to Canada. She is the 8th Russian player now in COVID protocol. Six ROC members were placed in isolation after testing positive last week.

The positive test adds another wrinkle to one of the emerging stories from Beijing.

Canada initially refused to take the ice against Russia in a round-robin game two days ago because ROC’s COVID-19 test results were not reported to them by the team’s chief medical officer.Ā 

Canada forced the lengthy delay before both sides opted to play while wearing face masks.

“With limited information at the time, our team came to an agreement with ROC to delay the start of today’s game,” Hockey Canada said in a statement following the game. “That delay was extended to one hour following the initial 12:10 p.m. start time. It was further agreed upon that, out of an abundance of caution, all players would wear masks for the game.”

ROC players took their masks off after the second period.Ā Canada continued wearing them.

Hockey Canada eventually said that “prior to the third period, both teams received the necessary negative COVID-19 test results. The teams were given the option to remove their masks for the final period, but Canada’s players chose to finish the game with masks on.”

The IIHF said the mask-wearing was “out of caution.”

Finland followed Canada’s trend and wore masks in their game against ROC on Tuesday.

Russian players did not.Ā 

Finland won the game 5-0.Ā 

Canada, which beat the United States 4-2 on Tuesday, will play the third-place team from Group B in the quarterfinals later this week.

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

+ Offside
+ Hockey
+ Olympics