Full text of John Furlong's statement regarding Georgia Straight article

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      John Furlong issued the following statement today (September 27) to the media in response to allegations in the Georgia Straight's article, John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake. It also appears on his website.

      See also: Watch full video of John Furlong news conference.

      As you are aware I have been accused of physical abuse and apparently within the last hour, sexual abuse. I want you to know I categorically deny absolutely ANY wrongdoing and I believe that the RCMP in looking into this matter will discredit the complaint entirely because it JUST did not happen

      Let me just say I am proud of the work I have done and the time I spent in the north and across the country working with First Nations and Aboriginal communities. I have the honor of having two Aboriginal names given to me by Aboriginal groups for accomplishments we achieved together. I am also proud of the book the story of my Olympic journey - my experiences and my personal recollections of those years. I did my best to include elements that contributed directly to the build up and delivery of the Games.

      Given my background and experiences working side by side with First Nations leaders and communities, it was very troubling to read the recent article as it deals with very serious, unfounded, allegations that are completely without merit.

      Because of the gravity of the situation, I encourage the police to continue to investigate the allegations and especially how they were arrived at.

      Further, I am very disappointed, in spite of numerous written cautions, by the reporter’s shocking lack of diligence in researching the article. As a result of inaccurate reporting, I feel that my character has been recklessly challenged and I have no choice now but to proceed with legal action. It is also beyond all belief that the Georgia Straight newspaper did not place a single call to me to validate any of the elements of this story.

      Advancing this after more than 40 years, particularly when I have been in the public eye constantly for the past 14 plus years is beyond me. Having experienced this reporter on many occasions in the past this feels very much like a personal vendetta. And finally let me just say on the very first occasion that this was brought to my attention prior to the Olympics I was advised for that for a payment it could be made to go away. And as such I reported this to the police.

      So why NO mention of Burns Lake in my book? My time in Burns Lake was fairly brief and fairly uneventful. I went back to Ireland and came to Canada years later as a landed immigrant. However, I have friends in Burns Lake. Been there many time since. I have spoken there. I visited the community with a First Nations delegation prior to the Olympics, and brought the Olympic Torch Relay through the Community, ALL without incident.

      There is much I could comment and would like to, but as this issue is now with the police and the courts, I am not in a position to provide further remarks.




      Sep 27, 2012 at 3:27pm

      Eight people are conspiring against you John? Will be interesting to see what evidence John has of the alleged extortion.

      jonny .

      Sep 27, 2012 at 3:47pm

      There are very specific allegations from numerous people. If its not true, go after the people making the accusations, not the reporter.

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      Greg The Newfie

      Sep 27, 2012 at 3:49pm

      Well, the rich and influential do not usually get that way without abusing someone. I just do not believe Mr. Furlong.

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      Sep 27, 2012 at 4:14pm

      Getting the strap or yardstick was pretty common in the late 60's before it began to be frowned upon. Corporal punishment... come on, I know some of you remember it.

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      ursa minor

      Sep 27, 2012 at 4:32pm

      I'm a Vancouver Whitecaps season ticket holder. If these allegations are true and Furlong continues as club president, I will not be renewing next season.

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      Coach Dobbs

      Sep 27, 2012 at 4:50pm

      If he is proud of the time spent in Burns Lake why is it ommitted from the book ?

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      Sep 27, 2012 at 6:54pm

      give back your order of Canada bully

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      Sparkles JW

      Sep 27, 2012 at 8:30pm

      The big statement is why did he omitt the 4 years in Burns lake?
      Thats the smoking gun! I watched the pain in the eyes of the soul of the natives making the complaint on TV.... As we watched (my wife and i ) said if we were on a Jury listening to these folks we both agreed they are credible and i believe them....What does the establishment do when the the true hurts? they attack the messenger even the reporter. Furlong is done!

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      Christy Clark

      Sep 27, 2012 at 9:34pm

      Gary Mason who co-wrote the book tells the Tyee he had no knowledge that Furlong lived in Burns Lake. The RCMP better get this right. The treatment of aboriginals by the Catholic Church has been a disgrace to this country.

      2nd Nation

      Sep 27, 2012 at 9:40pm

      Let it be known that many GS readers enjoy judging before a shred of evidence is produced. Such readers enjoy living in a faith-based fantasy.

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