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Ontario premier supports bodychecking in OHL's return-to-play

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

Ontario premier Doug Ford has weighed in on the OHL potentially banning bodychecking in the league's return-to-play plan.

"We are engaging with the OHL to create a safe return-to-play plan, which will need to be approved by health experts," Ford tweeted Saturday. "To date no decisions have been made. I would like to see the OHL return as normal as possible with bodychecking."

Ford's statement contradicts one of his own cabinet's ministers. Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of sport, said on Friday that "prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted," and the government will continue to work with the OHL on a safe return-to-play plan.

MacLeod was adamant that removing purposeful contact from the sport is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On Friday, she tweeted that she hoped "this matter is now settled."

The OHL is targeting a December start date for its 2020-21 season.

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