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NHL star Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence after his former coach accused him of beating up an 18-year-old girl in a Russian bar in 2011.

On Monday, Andrei Nazarov, a former Kontinental Hockey League coach, told Russian media that the New York Ranger forward “had sent an 18-year-old citizen of Latvia to the floor with several powerful blows.” News of his leave was first reported by the New York Post.

The Rangers described the piece as an “intimidation tactic” over Panarin’s outspoken criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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