October 1, 2015 / 3:41 AM / 5 years ago

COC head Aubut steps aside amid sex harassment probe

Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut takes part in a news conference announcing the launch of an anonymous hotline to report athletes suspected of doping, in Ottawa November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut has stepped aside pending an investigation into an allegation that he sexually harassed a female colleague, the organization said on Wednesday.

The COC said it received a complaint against Aubut, 67, last Friday and has retained a former Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court to head up an independent investigation.

“Mr. Aubut has requested, and the Canadian Olympic Committee has agreed that he step away from his duties as Canadian Olympic Committee President and Canadian Olympic Foundation Chairman for the duration of the investigation,” the COC said in a statement.

“He has indicated that he will cooperate fully with the investigation, which, by its nature is confidential, out of respect for the parties.”

Aubut, a lawyer and former co-owner of the National Hockey’s League’s Quebec Nordiques franchise until it relocated in 1995, was a strong advocate for Toronto to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The city ultimately decided against a bid.

Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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