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Quebec junior hockey player suspended for suspected racial comment

Quebec Remparts Mikael Tam listens to a question during a news conference at the Colisee de Quebec in Quebec City on Friday.


Chicoutimi Sagueneens star forward Guillaume Asselin has been suspended for two games and ordered to apologize for making a racial comment to the Quebec Remparts' Mikael Tam during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game.

A league statement Thursday said Asselin was suspended for making "inappropriate comments" to Tam, who is of Chinese descent, during the Remparts 5-2 victory on Wednesday night. His team was fined $500.

Asselin was given a misconduct penalty 31 seconds into the third period for making a "comment or gesture of a racial nature."

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A Sagueneens spokesman said that what was said on the ice would be kept private.

Commissioner Gilles Courteau said the league has banned all forms of discrimination since 2006.

"Our policy is based on the principle of zero tolerance and it applies to all comments which are deemed inappropriate," he said. "All our participants must be treated with respect and dignity."

Asselin is the second player suspended under the anti-discrimination policy this season. On Dec. 1, Spender Metcalfe of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles also got two games and apologized for a comment to Olivier Dame-Malka of Lewiston.

The 18-year-old Asselin, who is in the top 10 in league scoring, had notched his 35th goal of the season in the first period.

Most of the attention in the game had been directed at two former Montreal Canadiens teamates - Remparts coach Patrick Roy and Sags' bench boss Guy Carbonneau - who faced each other as coaches for the first time.

Tam, 19, was the victim last season of an elbow to the head from Rouyn-Noranda forward Patrice Cormier that left him in convulsions on the ice with a concussion and several broken teeth. Cormier was suspended for the rest of the season.

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