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The medal ceremony for team figure skating is postponed amid an inquiry.

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Members of the United States figure skating team will have to wait an unknown period of time — maybe even a day or more — before getting their hands on the medals they won in the team event at the Beijing Games.

The ceremony was abruptly postponed shortly before it was to begin on Tuesday night, according to an official from U.S. Figure Skating who said the athletes had been given no reason for the delay. The U.S. figure skaters and ice dancers had been dressed in their team gear and were just about to leave for the ceremony when they were told to turn back, the official said.

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, Mark Adams, called the delay an “emerging issue” at a news conference on Wednesday. He said Olympic officials were consulting with lawyers and the International Skating Union, the sport’s global governing body, to resolve the matter.

“A situation arose today at short notice which requires legal consultation with the I.S.U.,” Adams said. He added that the I.O.C. would provide an update later Wednesday and that the issue “will become clearer.”

The team event is a mixed-gender competition that made its debut at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. A Russian team won that year and also claimed the silver medal (behind Canada) four years later in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The United States won the bronze medal in both previous editions of the event.

This year, the American team, led by the three-time world champion Nathan Chen, finished second behind the Russian team when the event concluded on Monday. The Russian team dominated the competition, led by its newest star, 15-year-old Kamila Valieva. Japan finished third.

It was the best finish ever in the team event for the United States, which won bronze at the past two Olympics.

The team event is contested over several days. In it, each country is represented by men’s and women’s singles skaters, a pairs team and a set of ice dancers. The athletes compete in several rounds of performances, and the scores are combined to crown a winner.

The event can showcase the breadth of a team’s skating talent, but team events also come with risks. Germany and Ukraine failed to score points in portions of this year’s competition after losing athletes to positive coronavirus tests, ending their slim medal hopes.

But the disqualification of any athlete from a medal-winning team — a regular occurrence in other Olympic sports — means the loss of that athlete’s points. That could alter the final standings.

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