Michael Brind’Amour has resigned as chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors ©Getty Images

Michael Brind'Amour has resigned as chair of scandal-hit Hockey Canada.

Brind'Amour told Hockey Canada's Board of Directors last night that he was stepping down, according to the national governing body.

Hockey Canada has faced intense scrutiny in recent months over its handling of allegations of sexual misconduct, with its access to public funds being frozen.

Hockey Canada has already announced a governance review, committed to becoming a full signatory to the new Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner and published a six-pillar action plan to address "toxic behavior" and a "code of silence" it admits plagues the sport.

The governance review is to be led by Thomas Cromwell, a former Supreme Court justice.

"I have listened carefully and intently to the comments of Canadians about the culture of our sport and our organization, and about our actions and leadership," Brind'Amour said in a statement.

"I understand that the actions we have taken in recent weeks are part of the solution.

"My final term ends in November 2022, and I know that there is no need to wait for a new era. 

"Immediate action is essential to address the important challenges facing our organization and our sport, which our Action Plan works to accomplish. 

"I would not be able to see this renewal through and have therefore announced my resignation to the Board of Directors.

"I am reassured that The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, C.C., has agreed to lead a governance review of our organization that will help us make the changes that are needed. 

"I am confident the recommendations will guide the organization into a future of desired change.

"I wish the best of success to those who will succeed me."

An interim chair is expected to be appointed in the coming days.

Hockey Canada cannot access public funds at present and some regional bodies are threatening to withhold membership payments ©Getty Images
Hockey Canada cannot access public funds at present and some regional bodies are threatening to withhold membership payments ©Getty Images

Hockey Canada has faced heavy criticism for its treatment of allegations of sexual assault since it became known earlier this year that it had settled a case for CAD3.55 million (£2.2 million/$2.7 million/€2.7 million) with a woman who claims she was abused by members of Canada's junior national team in 2018.

As well as having its access to public funds frozen, senior Hockey Canada officials were grilled in Parliament and a police investigation into the incident has been reopened.

Other allegations of sexual misconduct have also been made and Hockey Canada has paid CAD8.9 million (£5.7 million/$6.9 million/€6.7 million) across 21 settlements for claims of sexual assault since 1989, the organisation told Canada's Parliament.

As well as the police investigation into the alleged sexual assault in Ontario in 2018 which sparked the current crisis, law enforcement in Halifax last month launched a criminal investigation into allegations of sex crimes relating to the men's junior national team from 2003.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has launched its own investigation into Hockey Canada.