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U13 Penticton hockey coaches suspended; allegedly related to caffeine pills

Penticton minor hockey coaches dismissed after alleged wrongdoing
There will be a Hockey Canada investigation into alleged wrongdoing by some minor hockey coaches. (file photo)

Multiple Penticton minor hockey coaches have been removed from their positions and an investigation into “potential wrongdoing” is underway, according to the Penticton Minor Hockey Association (PMHA).

Although the PMHA did not say what is being investigated, multiple sources close to the situation say coaches of a U13 Tier 3 team were dismissed in connection to an alleged incident that involved giving players “caffeine pills,” without parents’ consent, Black Press has learned. These reports have not been confirmed.

Kiel Gatenby, president of the PHMA, declined to comment on the details of the potential incident but acknowledged an investigation is currently in the hands of Independent Third Party (ITP), the group appointed to administer all Hockey Canada maltreatment complaints.

“We will wait for ITP to release their findings before we comment,” the president wrote in an email.

Gatenby confirmed Thursday the team’s old coaching staff has been removed from their roles.

“We have filled the team with a new PMHA-paid non-parent coach to carry the team until the end of the season,” the president added.

A PMHA parent who spoke on anonymity said they were informed of the caffeine-related incident on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

“We all got called in for a meeting before our team practice and were told everyone who was involved with this was removed from the association,” the parent said, adding that they learned of the situation after an in-person meeting and not through an internal email sent from PMHA.

It is unknown whether other teams across PHMA held similar team meetings to inform their players and coaches about the alleged wrongdoing.

The PMHA’s decision to remove multiple coaches from their roles was made in conjunction with the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association (OMAHA).

“OMAHA has turned this matter over to Hockey Canada’s Independent Third Party Investigators,” said Dave Dupas, the organization’s regional director.

“We have no comment at this point.”

Penticton RCMP also declined to provide further details.

“At this time, we won’t confirm or deny any investigation, or the name of any person who may be subject to an investigation, until charges have been laid,” said Cpl. James Grandy, RCMP spokesperson.

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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