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'Enough is enough,' John Furlong says of abuse claims

10/29/2013 05:31 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
Former Vancouver Olympics organizing committee CEO John Furlong who has remained silent for the past year in the face of allegations in the media and in lawsuits that he physically and sexually abused former students, says he can no longer stay quiet.

Today, Furlong released a public statement in which he says an RCMP investigation has proven he is innocent of the allegations made by Beverley Abraham in the summer of 2012.

The RCMP issued a news release Monday noting that its investigation into the allegations was independently reviewed by major crime investigators from another province. No charges resulted from the investigation, but the file remains open, RCMP said.

Abraham has filed a complaint against the RCMP claiming the investigation was biased.

In his statement, Furlong also said he is dropping a lawsuit against the weekly paper that first published the allegations last fall, but said he is still suing the author of the article, Laura Robinson, for defamation.

In the lawsuit he filed against Robinson last fall, he said she "maliciously intended to injure his reputation" with an article published in the Georgia Straight in September 2012. The story detailed allegations of verbal and physical abuse during the time he spent as a physical education teacher in Burns Lake, B.C., in the late 1960s.

Two women – Abraham and Grace West – who claimed to be former students later filed lawsuits alleging physical and sexual abuse against Furlong. Those allegations were denied in statements of defence filed with the court by Furlong in September of this year. The same day, a third sex abuse lawsuit was filed in Vancouver by a man also claiming to be a former student of Furlong's.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

Laura Robinson is in Denmark this week to give a speech titled "Truth, Lies and History: John Furlong and Canadian Sports' Moral Vacuum" at a Play the Game conference.

Furlong has threatened to sue conference organizers if anything defamatory is said. Play the Game is run by the Danish Institute for Sports Studies an independent institution set up by the Danish Ministry of Culture.

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