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Swimming Canada gives coach lifetime ban for sexual abuse

A Swimming Canada disciplinary tribunal suspended coach Matt Bell of Ajax, Ont., for life in relation to sexual abuse convictions on Tuesday.

Matt Bell was sentenced to 7 months in jail for sexual exploitation, luring in 2016

High performance coach Matt Bell has been suspended for life by Swimming Canada after he was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and four counts of luring a person under 18 years. (Swimming Canada)

A Swimming Canada disciplinary tribunal suspended coach Matt Bell of Ajax, Ont., for life in relation to sexual abuse convictions on Tuesday. 

Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi filed a formal complaint under the organization's harassment policy after the former high performance coach and CEO of Ajax Swimming was sentenced in November 2016 to seven months in jail, two years probation and his name was added to the national sex offender registry.

An independent panel organized to handle the issue has ruled that Bell will be suspended from all Swimming Canada activities for life, effective immediately. 

"We respect the decision and it sends a message that our policy is zero tolerance of sexual assault and harassment," El-Awadi said.

The organization suspended Bell indefinitely in November 2015 when informed of criminal charges of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and four counts of luring a person under 18 years. Bell pleaded guilty to the charges sexual exploitation and luring, according to the Pickering News Advertiser.

Swimming Canada is keeping all other information relating to the case confidential in order to protect to any victim.

"We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure every individual can pursue his or her potential in a safe environment," El-Awadi added.

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