Bedard gets bail on charge of breaching custodial order

Updated: January 5, 2007, 1:56 PM ET
Associated Press

QUEBEC City, Quebec -- Former Olympic biathlon champion Myriam Bedard was given bail Friday on a charge of breaching a custodial order involving her 12-year-old daughter.

Bedard's appearance in a Quebec City courtroom came a day after she returned home following nearly two weeks in jail in the United States.

She was given bail with conditions that include supervised visits with her daughter, remaining in Quebec and surrendering her passport and appearing once a week at a designated Montreal police station.

"I'm very happy to be out, I can't wait to see my daughter," the two-time gold-medalist told a crush of reporters waiting outside the courthouse.

Her attorney John Pepper Jr. considered the ruling "most reasonable" ahead of a jury trial that will begin with a preliminary hearing on April 2.

Bedard's lawyers contend she did not breach a custody agreement when she took her daughter to the United States on Oct. 3. Bedard, who was denied bail by a U.S. judge shortly after her arrest in Maryland, waived her right to an extradition hearing.

The two countries agreed last Friday for her return to Quebec to face the criminal charges.

The 37-year-old Bedard won two gold medals in the biathlon competition at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

She faces up to 10 years in prison for child abduction. Her ex-husband alleged she had taken their daughter from Quebec City without his permission.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press