Ok, now it’s just getting ridiculous. As in bad. Every time a Hockey Canada e-mail shows up in my inbox, it’s more horrendous news.
Believe it or not, if the ongoing 2018 sexual assault re-investigation involving Team Canada World Juniors wasn’t enough, this popped up Friday morning via e-mail.
CALGARY, Alta. – The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada:
“Yesterday evening, Hockey Canada learned of an alleged group sexual assault from 2003 involving members of the 2002-03 National Junior Team after being contacted by Rick Westhead of TSN/CTV National News with disturbing details of the alleged incident. Mr. Westhead informed Hockey Canada he has spoken to multiple witnesses who provided him with explicit descriptions of an assault, following an interview with Conservative MP John Nater who is in possession of the same or similar information.
The details in Mr. Westhead’s email were deeply disturbing and Hockey Canada immediately contacted Halifax Regional Police, as Halifax was the co-host city of the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship, and also notified Sport Canada of the information shared with us. We have urged Mr. Westhead to immediately speak with police and to encourage his sources to do the same. We also implore MP Nater to contact the authorities with any information he or his office has received on this alleged group sexual assault.
Swift reaction on social media occurred Friday with the 2003 Team Canada World Juniors roster being posted. The team included Marc-André Fleury, David LeNeveu, Steve Eminger, Alexandre Rouleau, Jeff Woywitka, Nathan Paetsch, Brendan Bell, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White, Gregory Campbell, Matt Stajan, Joffrey Lupul, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Jay McClement, Scottie Upshall, Daniel Paille, Derek Roy, Jordin Tootoo, P.A. Parenteau, Boyd Gordon, Kyle Wellwood, and Brooks Laich.
Then, similar to many players from the 2018 team, this process began on twitter …
— Carlo Colaiacovo (@CarloColaiacovo) July 22, 2022
2003 Team Canada defenceman Colaiacovo announcing he had nothing to do with the incident. Expect this effort to be repeated by many of his teammates, thus via process of elimination allowing us to figure out who may have been involved.
At the same time, as this information flies around, it’s important to remember, ‘innocent until proven guilty if guilty at all.’ Sex isn’t a crime. Assault obviously is …
The Hockey Canada statement continued:
We believe the alleged incident from 2003 should be investigated by the authorities, and we urge the police to open an investigation into this disturbing situation. Hockey Canada will cooperate with and support the authorities in every way we can, and we once again urge anyone who may have relevant information about this alleged incident to contact Halifax police immediately.
Just nineteen years later.
As for the 2018 incident at the Hockey Canada Gala in London, Ontario that summer, the Chief of Police in London released this official update on Friday: (portion)
A team of investigators were assigned and have conducted a preliminary review. Through this review, they have determined there are further investigative opportunities available to us, and as such, the criminal investigation has been re-opened to allow those opportunities to be explored.
As this is now an active criminal investigation, I am unable to speak further to the matter. Appropriate information will be shared once the investigation has concluded.
Hockey Canada’s ugly summer gets uglier.