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Five Players From 2018 Canada World Junior Team Take Leave Of Absence From Their Clubs

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Five members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team have taken a leave of absence from their current clubs in recent days following reports that five members of the team have been requested to surrender to police to face sexual assault accusations.

NHL players Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames, and former NHL player Alex Formenton, who is now with a team in Europe, have all been granted indefinite leave, with the announcements coming over the last four days.

The Flyers and Swiss club HC Ambri-Piotta cited personal reasons for Hart’s and Formenton’s departures; the Swiss club also stated that Formenton had been permitted to return to Canada. The Flames cited Dube’s mental health, while the Devils announced McLeod and Foote were on leave without explaining on Wednesday.

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Five Players From 2018 Canada World Junior Team Take Leave Of Absence From Their Clubs

Messages left for all five players’ agents and repeated messages sent to Hart’s lawyer seeking comment were responded to after some time. The NHL Players’ Association has declined to respond.

London, Ontario, police initiated an inquiry in 2022 after learning that Hockey Canada had settled a complaint with a woman who claimed she was sexually abused by eight members of the gold medal-winning team during a gala. According to the Globe and Mail, five players from that team have been ordered to surrender to police in the city midway between Toronto and Detroit to face sexual assault accusations.

When The Associated Press contacted London Police, a spokeswoman declined to confirm the allegation. “When there is an update to provide, we will share it with media outlets,” Sgt. Sandasha Bough said.

London Police stated Wednesday that they would conduct a news conference on February 5 to provide additional information “in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018.”

Earlier in the day, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere began his midseason state-of-the-organization news conference by stating, “We are aware of this morning’s press reports on a very serious matter.” We will respond appropriately once the results of the investigations are made public.

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Five Players From 2018 Canada World Junior Team Take Leave Of Absence From Their Clubs

“The NHL has made it clear that teams should direct all investigation-related queries to them. Meanwhile, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will not say further. That’s all we can say right now, regrettably.”

The NHL launched its inquiry in 2022 and promised to publicize the results.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press via email Wednesday that the league will publish a comment when appropriate, adding that there was nothing further he could say now. During the Stanley Cup Final in June, Daly stated that an independent investigator had completed work and that a report would be available by summertime for the league to evaluate.

“We have been in contact with the London police, continue to want to be in contact with them, make sure that there’s visibility with respect to what our process is,” Daly told the BBC on June 3. “And our goal would be to discover what theirs is. And I can’t predict what occurs after that.”

On Tuesday, the Flyers announced Hart’s leave of absence after he had one of his worst starts of an otherwise excellent season, allowing five goals on 15 shots in a loss to Colorado before being yanked. Briere said he didn’t know if the circumstance influenced Hart’s current performance.

“I really can’t tell because we don’t know anything,” stated Briere. “We are unaware of anything. There is a lot of speculation. “That is all we know.”

When asked after practice in Newark, New Jersey, if McLeod and Foote’s absences were related to the report, Devils coach Lindy Ruff responded, “I’m not sure. I do not know.”

The Flames stated in its Sunday announcement concerning Dube, “Dillon is under the care of health professionals, and we request that Dillon’s privacy be respected during this period.”

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Five Players From 2018 Canada World Junior Team Take Leave Of Absence From Their Clubs

Formenton, 24, was a 2017 second-round draft pick by the Ottawa Senators, who did not re-sign him in 2022 after his contract ended, although keeping his rights. Since then, he has played in Switzerland’s National League A.

It was unclear when or if the NHL will divulge the findings of its inquiry and what consequences any players involved may face. There needed to be more clarity on the three other players who were supposed to be engaged.

Hockey Canada has made significant improvements nearly two years after this, and other scandals surfaced, as well as the loss of big sponsors. CEO Scott Smith was fired, and the board of directors resigned in October 2022 over how Hockey Canada handled sexual assault complaints and paid out settlements.

Nike discontinued their agreement with Hockey Canada permanently last year after pausing it, along with other sponsors, in response to harsh criticism of the organization’s leadership.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

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NEW ORLEANS — Miami’s Jimmy Butler was one of four players tossed after a scuffle early in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 106-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

“I don’t think I should have gotten thrown out of the game,” Butler said, stressing that he was attempting to keep Pelicans player Naji Marshall away from Kevin Love when he placed his hand on Marshall’s throat.

Heat reserve Thomas Bryant and two Pelicans, Marshall and Jose Alvarado, were dismissed when fisticuffs broke out with 11:19 remaining and Miami leading 84-81.

The altercation erupted when Pelicans star player Zion Williamson stole the ball from Butler, and Love grabbed Williamson to prevent an uncontested layup.

As Love whistled for a foul, Williamson fell to the ground, and Marshall raced in to protest how he was fouled.

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“I wasn’t tripping about K-Love because he actually protected me on my fall,” Williamson told ESPN. “All of a sudden I see Butler kind of lunging towards Naji, so I’m trying to get there like, ‘Yo, relax, like what’s going on?'” Williamson stated.

However, Williamson stated that the intensity demonstrated throughout the standoff is “hard not to love.”

“It’s people competing — people riding for their teammates,” he stated.

Butler suggested that Williamson failed, saying Williamson “knew he shouldn’t have done that.”

“Then (Marshall) came and put his hands on K-Love, and that’s how it escalated,” Butler said.

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

Butler confronted Marshall, and they briefly held each other by the neck while teammates and coaches gathered around them.

“It was just, I think, a misunderstanding of the play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I believe Zion stumbled on the play when K-Love grabbed him, and it appeared worse than it was. And then everyone overreacted.

“I believe they misinterpreted that K-Love threw Williams down. On K-Love’s best day, I doubt he could knock him down.”

After it looked like officials had successfully separated the teams, Bryant and Alvarado continued arguing near the scorers’ table and exchanging blows as a fresh scrum built around them.

Emotions rose in the stands as well.

As Alvarado and Bryant scuffled, a fan wearing a Pelicans jersey began hurling objects at Miami players, prompting security to remove him. Soon later, a supporter wearing a Heat jersey was led out.

Officials watched videos of the altercations for several minutes before settling on the four ejections. Love was given a common foul.

Marshall and Alvarado, both popular reserves known for their aggressive play, received a standing ovation as they exited the court. Marshall and Alvarado exited the arena without speaking to the media.

The NBA may impose penalties, including fines or suspensions, in response to the altercation. However, Spoelstra stated that the energy on the court that resulted in the melee is “what competitors want.” This is what the supporters desire. It’s what everyone desires, and it occasionally boils over, regrettably.”

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Heat’s Jimmy Butler, 3 Others, Ejected After Scuffle With Pelicans

“We’ll just see what happens in the league,” Spoelstra stated. “Everybody’s intentions were right at first but you get a bunch of competitive people out there and it kind of boiled over.”

Butler said he wouldn’t be shocked if some of the heat from Friday’s game spills over to the team’s next matchup in Miami on March 22.

“We’ll beat them the next time, too,” Butler added. “We are just a better squad.

“Our team is so ready for anything that anybody’s thrown at us,” he said. “We’re playing some amazing basketball together. It doesn’t matter who we’re up against right now. “It is that time of year.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Fashion

2024: MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

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Major League Baseball players have encountered an unexpected issue ahead of the new season: a defective outfit.

Players and spectators have previously expressed issues about the new jerseys worn this season, and on Thursday, as spring training games began, MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) executive director Tony Clark expressed concern over the pants.

“A lot of the rhetoric is confirmation that the trousers are see-through,” Clark stated, according to ESPN. “It’s been a continuing conversation, with each day bringing something new that appears to make less sense than you’d like.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“Universal concern,” Clark remarked, “is the pant.”

The jerseys for the new uniforms, designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics, have already received criticism from fans for seeming cheap, lightweight, and having an unappealing appearance. Meanwhile, a Baltimore Orioles player described the new jerseys as “a knockoff” from TJ Maxx.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve landed in a place where the uniforms are the topic of discussion,” Clark said.

According to a news release, Nike collaborated with over 300 athletes to create a more breathable, lightweight, and stretchy jersey.

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MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

The corporation has yet to react to CNN’s prior request for comment on criticism of the uniforms, and Fanatics has declined to comment.

Players wore them during last season’s All-Star Game, and Nike and MLB reported that they were favourably received.

“They’re designed to be performance wear rather than what’s traditionally worn, so they’ll be different,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said of the uniforms.

mlb

MLB Players Concerned About Uniform’s ‘See-Through’ Pants Ahead Of The New Season

“I think after people wear them a little bit, they’re going to be really popular.”

This year’s Opening Day is set for March 28, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play two regular-season games in Seoul on March 20 and 21, marking the first MLB games in South Korea.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The Russian Olympic Committee has lost its appeal against the IOC’s suspension.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Friday that it had denied the ROC’s appeal against the October suspension. The IOC protested the ROC’s incorporation of four sports bodies representing eastern Ukrainian regions, calling it a “breach of the Olympic Charter.”

The IOC already forbade Russia from entering competitors for the Paris Olympics under its flag, and the suspension did not deter the IOC’s efforts to have Russians compete as neutral athletes without national emblems.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC executive council’s suspension “did not violate the principles of legality, equality, predictability, or proportionality,” according to CAS.

The ROC stated that the CAS verdict, which has yet to be published in full, “practically copied out the IOC’s arguments” and overlooked the Russian case. The ROC has the right to file an appeal with the Swiss Supreme Court, but it has yet to state whether it would do so.

“This CAS ruling is yet more evidence that civil and sports discrimination directed against Russians has reached an unprecedented scale in the run-up to the Games in Paris,” the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) stated in a statement.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

According to the ROC, CAS “confirmed that the Olympic team of Russia, Russian athletes and officials will not take part in the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris, just as it excluded any possible cooperation by the ROC with athletes who the IOC recognises as meeting the criteria of so-called neutrality.”

The IOC stated Friday it was “pleased” with the CAS’s decision that its suspension of the ROC was legal.

The decision by the ROC to incorporate the sports bodies for the four Ukrainian regions “constitutes a breach of the Charter because it violates the territorial integrity of the (National Olympic Committee) of Ukraine, as recognised by the IOCin accordance with the Olympic Charter,” the IOC stated.

The suspension in October ended the ROC’s right to receive IOC funds, but it did not affect the many Russians competing in international sports as neutral competitors to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics as part of an IOC-supported effort.

According to prior IOC statements, they would compete in the Paris Games as Individual Neutral Athletes.

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Russian Olympic Committee Loses Appeal Against Suspension By The IOC

The IOC has already stated that it will ban “athletes who actively support the war” in Ukraine, but it does not require Russian athletes to speak out against it. According to the IOC, the suspension eliminates the need to speak with the ROC when deciding which athletes to select.

The ROC stated on Friday that the neutral athlete protocol included “humiliating criteria” and that athletes who agreed to them risked breaking Russian law.

A similar Individual Neutral Athlete arrangement applies to athletes from Russia’s ally Belarus, although the NOC is not suspended. The IOC stated that it will discuss athlete selection for Paris with the Belarusian NOC.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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