John Furlong accused by former Burns Lake Catholic school students

Former head of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic organizing committee has denied allegations of physical abuse.

In an article published Sept. 27 in the Georgia Straight, a Vancouver weekly newspaper, John Furlong is accused of abusing eight former students of the old Immaculata School in Burns Lake. Immaculata was a Roman Catholic school in Burns Lake that ran from the 1950s until it was shut down in 1986.  The Georgia Straight reports that he worked there as missionary and ran physical-education classes in 1969.

In a statement issued Sept. 27 on his website, Furlong denies any wrongdoing, “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.”

He continued to say that the Georgia Straight newspaper made no attempt to contact him regarding the accusations.  Furlong’s statement also included a vague reference to an earlier extortion attempt regarding the accusations.  His statement reads, “[O]n the very first occasion that this was brought to my attention prior to the Olympics [2010] I was advised that for a payment it could be made to go away.”  At the time he reported this to the police.

None of the accusations have been proven, and they do not stem from a police investigation.

The complete transcript of Furlong’s statement can be viewed on his website.

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