Home Sexual Assault Cases Growing number of Hockey Canada players denying involvement in 2018 sexual assault case

Growing number of Hockey Canada players denying involvement in 2018 sexual assault case

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Three members of the Canadian World Junior team at the centre of Hockey Canada’s reopened investigation into an alleged 2018 sexual assault — and the agent of another player on the squad — released statements on Tuesday denying involvement in the incident that is said to have taken place.

St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou said in a statement he was not in London, Ont., at the time of the alleged incident.

Kyrou’s statement came after Blues teammate Robert Thomas issued a statement saying he “had no involvement in” nor did he witness the incident that has been described.

About an hour after Kyrou’s statement, Chicago Blackhawks forward Taylor Raddysh also issued a statement saying he had no involvement.

Later Tuesday, the agent for free agent centre Sam Steel said his client “did not engage in any of the misconduct that has been described in the media.”

“Sam has cooperated with every investigation into the matter, and he intends to continue to cooperate,” agent Gerry Johannson said.

The sexual assault allegations came to light in May after Hockey Canada settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by eight CHL players, including members of the 2018 world junior team, in London, Ont. in June 2018.

“I want to clearly state I did not attend the Hockey Canada gala and was not in London, Ontario at the time of the alleged incident,” Kyrou said. “I am prepared to cooperate with any additional investigations in the future if necessary.”

The statement from Kyrou, like Thomas’, did not note whether or not he had any knowledge of the alleged incident prior to it becoming public.

Raddysh’s statement said he became aware of the event said to have taken place in 2019.

“At that time, I cooperated fully with the initial Hockey Canada investigation. I was not in any way involved with the alleged incident and I am prepared to cooperate with any additional investigations in the future,” he said.

Five players from the 2018 team have now issued statements this week.

Arizona Coyotes defenceman Conor Timmins commented through his agency, Quartexx Hockey, on social media on Monday.

“I was not involved in any way in the incident that gave rise to the allegations that have been reported,” the statement from Timmins said. “No one alleges that I was present or involved and I have no personal knowledge of what occurred. I cooperated fully with the initial Hockey Canada investigation and will continue to cooperate in any other investigations as required.”

The statement from Raddysh marked the sixth personal statement, respectively, released by a member of the World Junior team after Victor Mete — who is also represented by Quartexx — released his own statement on Twitter last month saying he was vacationing with his family and out of the country at the time of the alleged incident. (Mete’s agent, Darren Ferris, had previously told Hockey Unfiltered’s Ken Campbell that Mete had been out of the country at the time.)

In May, the agent for Sharks forward Jonah Gadjovich told San Jose Hockey Now via a statement that his client was “not involved in the incident.” Cale Makar, when asked about the allegations during a media availability ahead of the Stanley Cup Final, told reporters he had no involvement and that he was interviewed by Hockey Canada’s investigators. (Makar also said he has been contacted by the NHL regarding the league’s own investigation and will “be very cooperative.”) Agents for Cal Foote and Dante Fabbro also issued statements to Campbell saying their clients were not involved.

On Thursday, Hockey Canada announced it was reopening its investigation. The lawyer for the woman who filed the lawsuit against Hockey Canada, the CHL, and the eight unnamed players told Sportsnet his client will participate in the reopened inquiry. Hockey Canada settled the lawsuit, which was filed in London on April 20, in May. The case has not been heard in a court of law.

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