Sports

Suspended Argonauts QB Chad Kelly withdraws from camp, citing desire to minimize distractions

Suspended Toronto Argonauts quarterback Chad Kelly said he will withdraw from training camp and hopes to "learn, grow and better myself" through counseling after his suspension by the league.

Kelly released a statement Thursday through his agent, Chris Lambiris, announcing his decision.

The CFL suspended Kelly for at least nine regular-season games on May 7 following its investigation into a lawsuit filed by a former strength and conditioning coach against both the player and club.

Kelly is also suspended for Toronto’s two preseason games for violating its gender-based violence policy.

He will be required to undergo confidential assessments by an independent expert and attend mandatory counselling sessions conducted by a gender-based violence expert.

Kelly said he “will take full advantage of this counselling opportunity to learn, grow and better myself.”

“At the same time, I want to support the Argonauts organization as it prepares for the season and have made the decision to withdraw from training camp to minimize distractions for the team and to put in the work to earn both reinstatement in the CFL and everyone’s trust," he said in the statement. "I look forward to getting back on the field soon.”

Kelly, 30, was the CFL’s outstanding player last season after leading Toronto to a league-best and franchise-record 16-2 record.

The Argos’ season ended with a 38-17 home loss to eventual Grey Cup champion Montreal in the East Division final.

Kelly played in college at Clemson, East Mississippi Community College and Mississippi. He was the last pick in the 2017 NFL draft, selected by the Denver Broncos. The team released him in 2018 after he was arrested for criminal trespassing.

“I have had to take time to process the findings from the CFL investigation released last week as they were not consistent with the person I am, nor the team and community leader I strive to be,” Kelly said in the statement. “I want to be the leader who brings people together and I strongly believe that all workplaces should be safe and healthy for every member of the team.”

___

AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports