Lightning suspend defenceman Ian Cole pending investigation of sexual abuse allegations

The Tampa Bay Lightning suspended defenceman Ian Cole pending an investigation into allegations made on social media that he sexually abused a woman when she was a minor.

The Lightning said Sunday night they were fully cooperating with the NHL on an investigation and were making the decision to suspend Cole until they gather more details.

“Our organization takes these allegations very seriously,” the team said in a statement.

CBC Sports has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press earlier Sunday the league had launched an investigation. Daly added the league had no prior knowledge of the allegations until they were posted on social media.

Cole’s agent did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Cole is a 33-year-old veteran playing with his seventh organization.

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