Athlete suspended for role in Vancouver riot

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:03 PM ET

A water polo player who was front and centre at the Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver has been banned from the national team for two years, including the 2012 Olympics.

Nathan Kotylak, 18, of Maple Ridge, B.C., was pictured stuffing a rag into the gas tank of a police cruiser June 15 after Game 7 of the Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.

A Water Polo Canada discipline panel said Kotylak would not be allowed to represent Canada until June 2013 and ruled him ineligible for Sport Canada funding during the two-year ban.

The panel described Kotylak's actions during the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots in June as "very serious."

Ahmed El-Awadi, Water Polo Canada's executive director, said the punishment was formidable but justified "given the seriousness of the situation and the potential to dishonour and discredit our organization, our members, and Canadians in general."

Kotylak released a statement a few days after the riot taking responsibility and expressing shame.


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