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Robinho arrested over sexual assault, denies claim

BRAZIL and Manchester City forward Robinho was arrested yesterday by police investigating an alleged rape at a nightclub in northern England.

"We can confirm that Robinho met the police today, as prearranged and as part of a criminal investigation," spokesman Chris Nathaniel said on Robinho's Web site today. "He strenuously denies any allegation of wrongdoing or criminality and is happy to cooperate with the police if required further."

The 25-year-old Robinho lives near Manchester with wife Vivian and one-year-old son Robson Junior.

West Yorkshire Police, which wasn't identifying the player, told The Associated Press that a man had been questioned about a "serious sexual assault" on an 18-year-old woman in Leeds on Jan. 14 and was released on bail after being questioned yesterday.

Days after the alleged incident at the Space nightclub, Robinho left City's training camp in Tenerife without permission to return to Brazil, publicly citing an "important family matter."

"I will return to the club and hope to sort out this matter as soon as possible," Robinho said last week. "I am committed to helping Manchester City become the force the owners assured me they will become."

Robinho returned to Manchester on Sunday and was back in training the following day ahead of English Premier League match against Newcastle.

Manager Mark Hughes said he plans to fine his star player over his sudden exit from the Canary Islands.

Since joining City from Real Madrid last summer for a British record transfer fee of €42.5 million, Robinho has scored 12 league and cup goals.


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