Harding Wins Delay in Skating Association Hearing
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A federal judge on Wednesday indefinitely delayed a figure skating disciplinary hearing that could banish Tonya Harding from the sport.
U.S. District Judge Owen Panner said the hearing could not be held as scheduled Thursday because Harding didn’t have enough time to prepare her case.
Harding’s membership in the U.S. Figure Skating Association is in jeopardy because of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, who was clubbed on the knee Jan. 8 at the national championships in Detroit. Harding has been implicated by her ex- husband.
Loss of membership would end Harding’s amateur career, starting with the World Figure Skating Championships, which begin March 22 in Chiba, Japan.
Panner granted a temporary restraining order blocking Thursday’s hearing in Colorado Springs, Colo., and urged the two sides to agree on a new date. The lawyers met with Panner for more than two hours after the ruling but failed to reach an agreement.
Harding’s lawyer, Bob Weaver, stopped short of saying that Wednesday’s ruling means Harding can skate in the world championships.
A grand jury is expected to issue indictments in the Kerrigan case and its final report on March 21 - the day before the championships begin. Harding could be in Japan by then.
The figure skating association did not plan to comment on its next step until Thursday, spokesman Matt Pensinger said.