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Former hockey coach Graham James accepts a Hockey News award in Toronto in this June 8, 1989, photo.

BILL BECKER/Canadian Press

Winnipeg police have confirmed that a Canada-wide warrant for convicted sex offender and former junior hockey coach Graham James has been issued.

A release from the Winnipeg Police Service on Wednesday referred to an investigation into "complaints of historic sexual assaults" but added that no more information would be released.

Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen also refused to provide more details about any new charges James may face.

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"We're really not able to comment any further at this time," he said.

Michalyshen had said earlier in the day that police did not want to do anything to jeopardize their investigation. He would not say how many alleged victims might have been contacted by police.

"We have put a lot of resources and a lot of members who are highly skilled in dealing with situations like this (on the case)," he said.

James was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in 1997 after he pleaded guilty to hundreds of sexual assaults involving two teenage hockey players under his influence. One of them was Sheldon Kennedy of the National Hockey League.

A tell-all autobiography published last year by former NHL star Theoren Fleury contained new allegations against James, who coached Fleury and Kennedy as young teens in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

It was Kennedy and an unnamed individual who finally went to police in 1996, leading the first charges.

James was granted a pardon by the National Parole Board in 2007, has coached internationally and is believed to be living in Mexico.

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"Our goal is to arrest and bring this individual before the courts," Michalyshen said.

Earlier Wednesday, Fleury held a news conference in Toronto to respond to a report from The Canadian Press that a warrant for James was imminent.

Fleury said finding ways to help victims of sexual assault is bringing a new purpose to his life. He added that during his book tour, many men leaned over to him during signings and whispered, "Me too."

Fleury alleged in his book that James began molesting him when he was 14 years old.

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