It is generally believed that the right-handed circularly polarized (RCP) and left-handed circularly polarized (LCP) waves in an isotropic chiral medium propagate at different velocities, known as circular birefringence. Here we show that this is not the case. After obtaining the refraction and reflection coefficients of any elliptically polarized wave at the surface of a chiral medium, we derive the conditions for single-mode refraction. By means of the process of single-mode refraction, we demonstrate that both the refracted RCP and the refracted LCP waves at normal incidence can be expressed as a coherent superposition of a pair of orthogonal linearly polarized waves that are rotated simultaneously. As a result, they must propagate at the same velocity as the linearly polarized waves. A physical interpretation is also given in detail. In particular, we show that the state of polarization of any elliptically polarized wave in a chiral medium is rotated with propagation. Such a rotation amounts to the rotation of polarization bases without involving the change of the Jones vector. The rotation of the RCP and LCP waves, as special cases of elliptically polarized waves, results in two opposite phases as if they propagated at different phase velocities with their polarization states transmitted unchanged.