Police looking for answers in UFV wrestlers’ suspensions
Published Sunday, March 1, 2015 7:16PM PST
Last Updated Friday, March 6, 2015 3:19PM PST
Abbotsford Police say they want to speak to any witnesses or victims in some kind of incident that cost wrestlers from the University of the Fraser Valley a chance at national gold.
Const. Ian Macdonald said three university students have come to them with concerns relating to the suspension of four male athletes from the UFV Cascades that prevented them from competing in a national tournament this weekend.
“They’ve heard rumours, no specifics, but they’ve heard rumbling, and they want this to be on the community’s radar and to a certain extent on the APD’s radar. It certainly is,” Macdonald said.
“There’s a lot of speculation, and I would suggest that the only way the speculation ends is when people come forward and tell us specifically what has occurred,” he said.
The University of the Fraser Valley suspended four members of the team before the CIS Wrestling Championships this weekend in Edmonton. The university wouldn’t say why, except to link it to some allegation of misconduct at a tournament in Calgary two weeks ago.
There are allegations of harassment on social media, though the university would not confirm this.
The team’s roster and photo seems to have been pulled from the Cascades website. Coaches of that team and other teams, and some other team members we talked to, didn’t know what had transpired.
A gold medal favourite, Chanmit Phulka, wasn’t at the Championship, despite telling the student paper earlier, “I can’t wait to represent UFV. I can’t wait to wrestle in CIS, and I can’t wait to win the gold medal.”
CTV News caught up with Phulka outside his family’s Abbotsford home on Sunday, asking him what he thought of any allegations.
He denied there were allegations of harassment, saying, “It’s the investigation, it’s not even started. Once that’s cleared up, we’ll be questioned.”
Another team member, Aman Bains, told CTV, “I don’t know anything about anything.”
The Abbotsford Police Department says UFV did not pass concerns to them. Whatever happened in Calgary would be in the Calgary Police Service’s jurisdiction, but any victim or witness can reach out to any local police to get an investigation going, Macdonald said.
The University of the Fraser Valley wouldn’t answer questions about the case, citing unspecific privacy law.
Spokesman Dave Pinton instead sent an e-mailed statement which read in part: “The University of the Fraser Valley takes any allegation under conduct policy very seriously. It is the university’s practice to work with the authorities whenever there is a criminal investigation initiated.”