TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have reinstated Ian Cole after a NHL investigation found no evidence to support the sexual abuse allegations against him.
The 13-year NHL veteran was suspended on Oct. 9 after a Twitter user claimed that Cole groomed and sexually assaulted her for years, beginning when she was a minor in high school.
The League said its security and legal departments tried to get in touch with the anonymous user, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Investigators reportedly interviewed Cole twice, as well as other Lightning members, and combed through social media and law enforcement records to find information related to the allegations.
“The National Hockey League now considers this matter closed,” The League wrote in a statement on Saturday.
“Ian Cole has been cleared to return to The Tampa Bay Lightning,” The Lightning said in a statement. “The organization takes these accusations very seriously and supports the conclusion from the NHL investigation.”
Cole also released a statement in conjunction with the team, in which he denied the allegations and said he was looking forward to suiting up for the Lightning again.