Gymnastics Canada suspends Edmonton-based coach because of sex-abuse allegations

MONTREAL — Gymnastics Canada suspended an Edmonton-based coach on Thursday amid allegations he sexually abused some of his former students.

The decision to suspend Michel Arsenault came after CBC’s French-language network reported he sexually abused at least three gymnasts in Quebec when they were minors in the 1980s and early ’90s.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this situation, in particular the athletes and their families,” said Richard Crepin, the organization’s chair of the board of directors.

CEO Peter Nicol said Gymnastics Canada is committed to providing a safe environment for its athletes.

An Edmonton gym where Arsenault was based has also barred him from its premises and said he will no longer be involved in any of its activities.

Champions Gymnastics said it is taking the allegations seriously.

Radio-Canada said Arsenault did not respond to requests for comment.

The network quoted one woman as saying she was 14 when Arsenault allegedly began touching her genitals, while another said she was 15 when he allegedly forced her to touch his genitals.

Other women interviewed described Arsenault as verbally and physically abusive.

The network also quoted the current general manager of Gymnastique Quebec as saying Arsenault was suspended from competition in 1987 for his behaviour toward coaches and officials.

“He could teach in Quebec, at his club, but he couldn’t represent Quebec, neither as a manager nor as a coach,” Serge Castonguay said.

“He couldn’t oversee a Quebec team at national or international competitions.”

Arsenault moved to Alberta in 1994 and opened Champions Gymnastics in 2002.

Just Posted

Police informer talks about his role in Castor undercover sting

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank were convicted of triple murders last month

City of Red Deer invites residents to Let’s Talk

Interactive public forum to be held April 7

Lessons in altruism learned by Red Deer students

St. Francis of Assisi School launches community foundation project

Sylvan Lake council approves fire pits and mobile stage

Large fire pits for group gatherings will be located on pier next winter

WATCH: Red Deer Taboo Show in full swing

The Red Deer Taboo Show is in full swing at Westerner Park.… Continue reading

Driver crashes into Red Deer business while fleeing police

A car smashed through a Red Deer business’ front window while fleeing… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Groups expressing concern about jobs funding rules await final decision

OTTAWA — It was Valentine’s Day when an Alberta church was told… Continue reading

Superstore chain Fred Meyer to stop selling guns, ammunition

PORTLAND, Ore. — Superstore company Fred Meyer will stop selling guns and… Continue reading

Wickenheiser says strengthening Olympic hockey bridge behind North Korea trip

CALGARY — Hayley Wickenheiser was conflicted about the unified Korean women’s hockey… Continue reading

Watch: Volcanic thunder is real, and this is what it sounds like

Behold, the rumble of volcanic thunder. No, this is not the sound… Continue reading

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal buys Toronto augmented reality startup ModiFace

TORONTO — When University of Toronto engineering professor Parham Aarabi first began… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month