— Published 15 July 2022

the Canadian Ice Hockey Federationa reopens investigation

Predictable and expected. Shaken for several weeks by a case of sexual abuse, the Canadian Ice Hockey Federation announced on Thursday, July 14, its decision to reopen the investigation into accusations of gang rape. The facts date back to the year 2018. They involve members of the national junior team. The body is suspected of having sought to hide a gang rape committed by eight players. The new investigation will involve all field hockey players involved, directly or indirectly. It will be conducted by an independent third party. The investigation will then be referred to an independent arbitration tribunal to determine any sanctions. The sanctions could include a lifetime ban from Hockey Canada. “We hear your anger and disappointment,” the federation wrote in an open letter to the public. “We know that our response has been insufficient in relation to the actions of some members of the National Junior Team in 2018, if not to end the culture of toxic behaviour in field hockey. We are sincerely sorry for that.” In conjunction with this investigation, Hockey Canada will establish an independent and confidential complaint mechanism. It also plans to subject players to mandatory training on sexual violence and abuse. The gang rape case appeared to be wrapped up with the financial settlement reached last spring between the federation and the complainant, a young woman now 24 years old, who accused a group of eight players, including several members of the junior national team, of gang rape after a Hockey Canada foundation gala in 2018. In the wake of the allegations, the federation’s funding was suspended by the Canadian government, and officials were forced to explain themselves before a parliamentary committee. But officials said the truth was not yet known. Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge last month denounced the handling of the affair as “extremely troubling and worrisome”.