The Canadian Ice Hockey Federation has denied hiding a gang rape case of eight players in 2018.
Canadian Hockey Federation officials on Monday dismissed accusations of failing to investigate or trying to cover up an alleged collective violation committed by eight players in 2018, during a hearing before a parliamentary committee. According to Canadian media, an agreement has been concluded between the federation (Hockey Canada) and a young woman whose identity is not known and now aged 24, who accuses a group of eight players of gang rape, including several members of the junior national team at the time.
Hockey Canada, which said it was “deeply troubled by the very serious allegations of sexual assault against members of the 2017-18 National Junior Hockey Team,” has confirmed an agreement exists. According to the sports television channel TSN, the young woman claims to have been raped by hockey players in a hotel room in London, about 200 kilometers southwest of Toronto, after a gala of the Hockey Canada Foundation.
On Monday, the federation’s chief executive, Tom Renney, said the federation informed police of the sexual assault charges the day they became aware of them, the day after the alleged assault. “Hockey Canada is aware of reports suggesting that we failed to investigate this incident, attempted to cover it up, and generally shoved this issue under the carpet,” Renney testified. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he assured.
He pointed out that at the request of the alleged victim, neither she nor the eight players she accuses have been publicly identified. Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge has launched a financial audit of Hockey Canada to find out if “public funds (had) been used to cover up this story of gang rape”.
“I can assure you that no government funds were used in this settlement,” Mr Renney said, explaining that the money came in part from ticket sales. It was also claimed that Hockey Canada hired a law firm to conduct an independent investigation, which has not been made public.