by Vikki Hopes and Tyler Olsen, Abbotsford News
Four male wrestlers from the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) have been suspended from competing at a national championship this weekend and are part of a “conduct investigation” at the university.
The nature of the alleged misconduct is not being revealed by authorities, but the investigation arose after the wrestlers attended the Canada West championships on Feb. 13 and 14 at the University of Calgary.
Dave Pinton, UFV director of communications, said he could not discuss whether some athletes have been banned from competing this weekend or any other details, but he issued the following written statement:
“As per standard practice and privacy legislation, the university cannot comment on any pending conduct investigations. We take all allegations under conduct very seriously.”
Six UFV Cascades wrestlers attending the Canada West event qualified to compete in the national CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) Wrestling Championship on Feb. 27 and 28 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. However, four won’t be competing.
CIS media relations manager Michel Belanger said those wrestlers were “suspended by Fraser Valley” and that it was an internal decision by UFV.
“Following the Canada West championship, once they qualified, they notified [us] because obviously it was going to change the draw. That’s all the information we have,” Belanger said.
Canada West communications co-ordinator Piccolo Ocampo said: “I understand they were withdrawn from the competition because there’s an investigation into their status as student athletes.”
A spokesperson with the Calgary Police Service said the agency has not received any reports related to the conduct of UFV wrestlers attending the Canada West championship.
UFV won a team bronze medal at Canada West, with the University of Winnipeg Wesman finishing just short of a podium place.
University of Winnipeg sports information co-ordinator Sheldon Appelle said the Wesman have received no indication that the UFV team result would be vacated, which would leave the Wesman team with bronze medals.
The withdrawal of one UFV wrestler did allow a Winnipeg athlete to gain entry to this weekend’s CIS championships.
The UFV wrestling team is currently in its first season of CIS competition. There is a total of 12 men and four women on the roster.
Pinton referred a reporter to the university’s “non-academic conduct policy,” which lists conduct that is prohibited by UFV, and a strict set of procedures involved in the university investigating alleged misconduct.
These steps can include a “resolution meeting” between all parties involved, or a hearing in which evidence is presented.
Any penalty or remedy imposed takes into consideration the severity of the offence, the harm caused, the degree to which the conduct was deliberate, and whether the act in question is part of an isolated incident.
Penalties can include a verbal or written reprimand; loss of privileges; removal from class, activity, course or program; or suspension or expulsion from the university.