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The Hockey Canada head office in Calgary on Nov. 6.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Hockey Canada says it is confident that M.M., the well-dressed “older gentleman” who is reported to have been partying with members of the 2018 world junior hockey team in the hours prior to an alleged group sexual assault, has never been an employee of Hockey Canada, a spokesperson for the sports governing body said in an e-mail Tuesday.

In its first comment to The Globe and Mail since the newspaper reported on Sunday the details of a 94-page court filing from the London Police Service about the case, Hockey Canada also addressed an allegation that it received a photo of Player 1 after the alleged assault at the Delta Armouries Hotel in London, Ont.

In the court document, London police said that Player 1 – who is accused of inviting teammates to his hotel room after having consensual sex with the complainant, E.M. – learned about the police investigation from someone at Hockey Canada. Upon hearing this news, the document says he searched out E.M. on Instagram and messaged her on the app, and later through text messaging, urging her to make the case go away.

“Hockey Canada is not a named party in the court proceedings, and as such, cannot speak to the accuracy of its contents. With that said, Hockey Canada has no record of receiving a photo of Player 1,” Jeremy Knight, a spokesperson for Hockey Canada, said.

Panel to review third-party report into Hockey Canada affair

On the question of whether anyone at the sports organization notified the player that the police had been contacted, the Hockey Canada said that on June 20, 2018, upon the advice of a “third-party investigator … players assigned to the room in which the alleged incident occurred, as well as their parents, were formally notified that the matter had been reported to London Police Service. Subsequently, all players who attended the Gala were notified a third-party investigation would be taking place, and they were strongly encouraged to participate.”

London police filed the court application in October of this year after reopening the case this summer. Officers were seeking judicial approval of additional investigative measures, including warrants and production orders. The filing provides new details about what police say they’ve learned in their investigation and includes summaries of interviews with E.M. and members of the junior hockey team. Their identities are not disclosed.

Among the revelations included in the filing is the fact that police say they have reasonable grounds to believe that five members of the world junior hockey team sexually assaulted E.M. in June, 2018. The allegations contained in the filing have not been tested in court and no charges have been laid. The Globe obtained the filing from the Crown.

The players were in London for the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf, where the gold-medal winning team was being honoured. After the fundraiser, some of the players went out downtown to a place called Jack’s Bar, which is where Player 1 and E.M. met.

According to the court filing, E.M., Player 1 and his friends hung out for much of the night, dancing and drinking. She told police the players encircled her and kept “passing her back-and-forth between them to dance with her,” the police application says.

In her interview with police, E.M. says that a well-dressed “older gentleman” was hanging around the guys as well. He is alleged to have been buying rounds for the group and at one point poured a Jägerbomb shot in E.M.’s mouth. She told police that M.M. was praising Player 1 and told her to “take care of him.” M.M. spoke with police in August, 2022, but the court document says he did not recall much about the night.

On Saturday, a nine-member board was elected to provide oversight of Hockey Canada after the entire board resigned in October and the organization’s CEO departed. In a statement released Tuesday, the board’s new chair said he was “disturbed” to read about the details of the 2018 incident published over the weekend and said transparency and accountability will be key pillars of a new era at Hockey Canada.

“I was disturbed to read the firsthand accounts of the 2018 incident in London, Ont., reported in media over the weekend, and on behalf of the newly elected Hockey Canada Board of Directors, I wish to reassure Canadians that Hockey Canada is committed to pursuing its investigation and to collaborating fully with the London Police Service,” wrote board chairman Hugh L. Fraser, a retired Ontario Court judge and Olympian who has specialized in sport law over his career, including work as an arbitrator on multiple high-level athletic bodies.

Mr. Fraser said Hockey Canada’s independent investigation of the 2018 incident is now complete and its report is before an adjudication panel. The panel, which consists of two retired judges and a senior lawyer, will determine what sanctions, if any, will be imposed.

The report is confidential, Mr. Fraser said, in part to ensure Hockey Canada doesn’t jeopardize the ongoing London police investigation.

“While acknowledging that it cannot change what happened in the past, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors wishes to emphasize our commitment to being transparent, addressing what happened in 2018, and to bringing about positive change within our organization to the benefit of all Canadians,” Mr. Fraser wrote in his statement.

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