PITTSBURGH - Star Penguins center Sidney Crosby was not arrested overnight in Canada, contrary to a report by the Ottawa Sun.
Several hours later, the paper's ownership group -- QMI News Agency -- issued a retraction.
“Earlier today, QMI Agency reported that Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was arrested by Ottawa Police late Tuesday on driving-related charges,” read the retraction, which was first posted at 11:22 a.m. “There was no basis for the story and QMI unreservedly retracts the story in its entirety. QMI regrets the error.”
“The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken to Sidney Crosby,” the Penguins said in an emailed statement. “He is not in Canada, and was not in Canada (Tuesday). He is continuing his training in preparation for training camp."
In a story posted to its website at 3:24 a.m., QMI News Agency wrote, “Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was arrested by Ottawa Police late Tuesday while driving a rented Porsche, sources have told QMI Agency.”
Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau said no such thing occurred and later tweeted, “We have had no dealings with Mr. Crosby.”
The story has since been removed from the Sun's website, leaving only QMI's retraction.
“Sidney Crosby was not in Ottawa yesterday and has been out west all week, training with other NHL players in Vail Colorado. These reports are untrue,” said Crosby’s representative Dee Rizzo.
The Penguins begin training camp in a little more than two weeks.
News of the false report quickly spread around the sports world Wednesday.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Channel 11's Bill Phillips he wasn't overly surprised to hear about a false story.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.