Lightning suspend defenceman Ian Cole pending investigation of sexual abuse allegations

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The Tampa Bay Lightning suspended defenceman Ian Cole pending an investigation into allegations made on social media that he sexually abused a girl when she was a minor.

The Lightning mentioned Sunday night time they have been totally cooperating with the NHL on an investigation and have been making the choice to suspend Cole till they collect extra particulars. It’s the newest off-ice scandal to rock hockey and produce the game’s tradition into query.

“Our group takes these allegations very severely,” the workforce mentioned in a press release. “No members of the group, together with gamers, will remark additional at the moment.”

CBC Sports has not been in a position to independently confirm the allegations.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly instructed The Associated Press earlier Sunday the league had launched an investigation. Daly added the league had no prior data of the allegations till they have been posted on social media.

Cole’s agent didn’t instantly reply to a number of messages looking for remark.

Among the allegations posted anonymously to Twitter on Friday by an account created final month, the particular person mentioned Cole pressured her into having intercourse a number of instances when she was a minor after he had reached the NHL.

In the posting, the particular person accused Cole of emotional and sexual abuse, and mentioned the NHL should maintain itself and its gamers accountable for creating an atmosphere of misogynistic and predatory behaviour.

The 33-year-old Cole made his NHL debut with St. Louis in 2010 and performed 5 seasons for the Blues earlier than being traded to Pittsburgh. It was not clear the place he was taking part in when the particular person mentioned Cole sexually abused and groomed her.

Cole, a Michigan native, has performed 780 regular-season and playoff video games with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Colorado, Minnesota and Carolina. He signed a $3 million US, one-year contract with Tampa Bay in July.

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