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Olympic-Level War of Words in Canada

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - Journalist Laura Robinson has launched a legal counter-attack against John Furlong, former head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, in a defamation lawsuit against Furlong and his media handlers.

Robinson faces a defamation lawsuit for a scathing article that claimed Furlong was abusive to students when he was a teacher at a residential Catholic school 1960s and 1970s.

In her new lawsuit in British Columbia Supreme Court, Robinson claims that Furlong went on a media blitz with the help of Twentyten Group Strategic Marketing Communications to discredit her after the article was published in the alt-weekly Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012.

Robinson claims the defendants published news releases and made statements in media interviews that defamed her by calling her an unethical activist with an ax to grind against male authority figures in sports.

Furlong and the Twentyten Group, Robinson claims, falsely accused her of filing a false police report about the abuse allegations and of trying to "extort money" from Furlong in exchange for not reporting on the allegations.

In several responses and public statements after Robinson's original article, Furlong claimed the allegations him were fabricated and that police investigations found no evidence to back them up.

Furlong claimed Robinson's career in journalism was littered with inaccuracies, and, Robinson claims, refused to retract statements against her that were published online and picked up by local, national and international media.

Robinson seeks an injunction and damages for defamation.

She is represented by Bryan G. Baynham with Harper Grey LLP.

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