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Gymnastics coach banned from local gym following sexual abuse allegations in Quebec
Michel Arsenault was interviewed by CTV News at a gymnastics event in March, 2011.
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 12:26PM MST
A local gym, along with Gymnastics Canada, has taken measures against a coach, following sexual abuse allegations dating back decades.
In a statement posted on its website, Champions Gymnastics said the organization had just learned of the allegations against Michel Arsenault, and that he would not be involved in any activities at the facility, and wouldn’t be allowed on the premises.
“This decision has been taken to allow our coaching team to pursue the club’s mission to offer our athletes an environment where they will be able to flourish,” the statement said.
On Thursday, Gymnastics Canada said Arsenault had been suspended “following serious allegations that have recently come forward.”
“No athlete should be the subject ot this type of conduct and we are working tirelessly to ensure that all of our participants are able to take part in our sport in a safe and welcoming environment,” Richard Crépin, Chair of the Board of Directors for Gymnastics Canada said.
The decision came after a report by CBC Radio-Canada reported allegations Arsenault sexually abused at least three gymnasts in Quebec. The gymnasts were minors when the alleged abuses occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s.
One woman quoted in the report said she was 14-years-old when Arsenault allegedly started touching her genitals, and another woman said she was 15-years-old when it’s alleged he forced her to touch his genitals. Other women described Arsenault as verbally and physically abusive.
The general manager of Gymastique Quebec said in the report Arsenault had been suspended from competition in 1987 for his behaviour towards coaches and officials. Arsenault moved to Alberta in 1994.
With files from The Canadian Press