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Hockey Canada says 2018 junior players ineligible for international competition

OTTAWA — Hockey Canada says players from the 2018 world junior hockey team will not be considered for international competition until an investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of the team is complete.
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A Hockey Canada document is review by a member of Parliament during a House of Commons Committee on Canadian Heritage looking into safe sport in Canada on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. The House of Commons' heritage committee unanimously passed a motion Monday directing Hockey Canada to hand over a report from an investigation into allegations of sexual assault involving members of the 2018 world junior team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Hockey Canada says players from the 2018 world junior hockey team will not be considered for international competition until an investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving members of the team is complete.

In a statement obtained Monday evening by The Canadian Press, Hockey Canada indicated the decision was made earlier this year and that players from the team will not be considered until "the investigation and adjudicative process of the alleged incident in 2018 are complete."

Hockey Canada says the decision has been communicated to the management group for the upcoming hockey world championship scheduled May 12-28 in Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia.

The statement comes hours after a parliamentary committee unanimously passed a motion ordering Hockey Canada to hand over a report from an investigation into the 2018 allegations.

Heinen Hutchison Robitaille LLP was hired by Hockey Canada to perform a third-party investigation.

The motion, tabled by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh to open a Heritage committee meeting on safe sport, ordered Hockey Canada to provide the law firm's completed report within 24 hours.

"I have heard that Henein Hutchinson has given the report to Hockey Canada and I wish to receive it here in the very near future to look it over," Waugh said.

The motion passed with an amendment from Liberal MP Chris Bittle to have the report redacted for privacy purposes before being submitted.

Waugh told The Canadian Press later the report would also need to be translated into French.

"A letter will be sent to a Hockey Canada today," Waugh said. 

"Hopefully they will give us the report by Henein Hutchinson, and then we can get it translated."

News broke in May that members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a Hockey Canada gala event in London, Ont.

As part of the fallout, an independent investigation into the allegations by HHR (then Henein Hutchison) ordered by Hockey Canada was reopened.

Partner Danielle Robitaille said before a Heritage committee hearing into the scandal in July that the investigation was initially closed in 2018 because the complainant did not provide a statement.

Robitaille said she contacted Hockey Canada and asked for a mandate to reopen the investigation after learning that the complainant planned to participate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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