Canadian speedskating head coach Michael Crowe on leave of absence

CALGARY — The head coach of Canada’s long-track speedskating team is taking a leave of absence less than a month before the Winter Olympics.

Speed Skating Canada says Michael Crowe is on leave “until at least after the Olympic Games.”

An internal investigation is under way and there “is currently a process in place,” according to the sport’s national federation.

The organization didn’t offer any more information about what led to the leave.

The 64-year-old Crowe, from Butte, Mont., has been on the long-track team’s coaching staff since 2007 and was named head coach in 2015.

According to a statement, the team is focused on results at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.

“We are confident we have the leadership necessary to allow the athletes to perform at their best in Pyeongchang next month,” Speed Skating Canada said.

The Olympics open Feb. 9.

The long-track team has multiple medal threats in Pyeongchang, including long-distance specialists Ted-Jan Bloemen and Ivanie Blondon, and sprinters Vincent de Haitre and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix.

The Olympic team coaches, who were introduced at a team news conference Jan. 10 in Calgary, will be Bart Schouten, Kevin Crockett, Gregor Jelonek and Marcel Lacroix.

Eleven skaters named to the Olympic team will compete Friday to Sunday in Erfurt, Germany, in the last World Cup before the Winter Games.

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