Miki Ando, the women's gold medalist at last year's World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, has signed a pledge to return to competition in the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix series, sources said.
The 24-year-old Ando, one of the contenders for Japan's national team for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, has been taking a break this season but the ISU is forcing skaters on furloughs who want to return to competition to sign documents promising to take part in the 2012-13 Grand Prix series.
Ando has signed the form, the sources said May 17.
Other prospective Japanese competitors in the 2012-13 Grand Prix series include Daisuke Takahashi, the men's gold medalist at the 2010 World Championships in Turin, Italy, and Mao Asada, a two-time women's world champion in 2008 and 2010.
A Grand Prix series assignment meeting to be held in Chicago later this week will decide on which of the Grand Prix events each athlete will be assigned to compete in.
The 2012-13 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series kicks off with the Oct. 19 opening of the Hilton Honors Skate America event, which runs through Oct. 21. The top six athletes (including couples) in each category of the Grand Prix events will proceed to December's Grand Prix Final in Russia's Sochi, which will double as a trial for the Winter Olympics.
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