X

Hockey Canada Made Aware of Alleged Group Sexual Assault Involving 2003 Junior Team

Erin WalshJuly 22, 2022

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Hockey Canada announced Friday that it was made aware of an "alleged group sexual assault" involving members of its 2002-03 National Junior Team at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Investigative journalist Rick Westhead, who works for TSN/CTV National News, notified the organization of the alleged sexual assault via email on Thursday.

Hockey Canada wrote in a statement:

"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."

Hockey Canada has contacted the Halifax Regional Police and is urging Westhead and his sources to do the same, per the statement. Halifax co-hosted the 2003 World Junior Championship.

Hockey Canada also said in the statement that its staff had heard about "something bad at the 2003 World Juniors," but were given "no details of any sort." The organization hired a third-party investigator in an attempt to find more information, but they "were unable to learn anything."

With most of the members of Canada's 2003 World Junior roster having gone on to play in the NHL, the league released the following statement on Friday to Sportsnet:

"We were made aware earlier today of the horrific allegations against members of the 2002-03 Canadian National Junior Team. The National Hockey League will look into the allegations and will respond appropriately."

These are only the latest allegations surrounding Hockey Canada.

In May, news broke that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged eight Canadian Hockey League players, including members of Canada's 2017-18 World Junior team, sexually assaulted her in June 2018.

Since then, multiple players on that team have denied their involvement, and Hockey Canada has had its government funding frozen. The organization has also reopened a third-party investigation into the alleged 2018 sexual assault.

It was also revealed earlier this week by The Canadian Press that Hockey Canada had "maintained a fund to pay for uninsured liabilities," including to settle claims of sexual abuse and assault. The organization later announced that the fund would "no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims."

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.