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Aubut steps down as COC president as sexual harassment investigation begins

October 1, 2015 5:41 A.M.
FILE -- Marcel Aubut addresses athletes during the announcement of the Canadian bobsled team for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Monday, December 16, 2013 in Montreal. Aubut has stepped down as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Canadian Olympic Foundation as he is investigated for sexual harassment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TORONTO — Marcel Aubut stepped down as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Canadian Olympic Foundation on Wednesday for the duration of a sexual harassment investigation.

The COC received a complaint last Friday about Aubut and has retained Francois Rolland, former Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court, to head an independent investigation.

"Mr. Marcel Aubut has learned of allegations concerning remarks he allegedly made to a colleague," said Aubut in a statement. "He has offered his unconditional support to those responsible for investigating the remarks attributed to him and setting the record straight. This is a normal process that should be completed by mid-October."

Aubut and the COC issued separate statements about the allegations.

The 67-year-old from Saint-Hubert-de-Riviere-du-Loup, Que., asked to step away from his duties for the duration of the investigation.

Aubut served as chief executive officer of the NHL's Quebec Nordiques until the team was moved to Colorado in 1995. He helped hockey stars Anton, Marian and Peter Stastny defect from communist Czechoslovakia to Canada in 1980 to play for the Nordiques.  

In 2000, he became a member of the COC and was elected to its Board of Directors and Executive Committee in 2005. Aubut was voted president-elect of the COC in March 2009, becoming president in April 2010.

He was inducted in to the Order of Canada as a member in 1986 and was promoted to officer in 1993. In 2006, he was made an officer of the National Order of Quebec.

Aubut was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He is also a partner, lawyer and vice-chairman of the board of directors at BCF, a Montreal-based law firm.

Andre Morrissette, the chair of the board at BCF, said in a statement that the firm would not be making any comment on the investigation but that Aubut would remain in his position since the allegations do not directly effect his professional activities.

The Canadian Press

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