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Euro 2012

Lyon striker Gomis quizzed over rape

LYON, France, June 14- Lyon’s French international striker Bafetimbi Gomis was on Wednesday being questioned by police investigating an alleged rape, a source close to the case said.

Gomis has denied all the accusations as well as insisting that he had not spent the night in custody.

But a source said that Gomis was being questioned on Wednesday while a second player being quizzed was named as Yohan Benalouane, a former teammate of Gomis’ at Saint-Etienne, who now plays for Cesena in Italy.

“I formally deny the accusations that have been made against me and, contrary to what has been written, I absolutely did not spend the night in police custody. Thanks for all your support,” Gomis wrote on his Facebook page and also on Twitter earlier on Wednesday.

Gomis was the only player named, and the club released a statement to deny that any other member of their staff was involved.

The statement read: “OL formally deny that Bafetimbi Gomis spent the night in custody and that any other player may be implicated in the investigation mentioned by media whose reports could be harmful to those involved and to OL as an institution.”

A police official in Lyon had told AFP that two OL players were the subject of an investigation into the rape of a 38-year-old woman.

The official said: “A statement was made to police at the end of the evening, but the victim has not lodged a complaint nor been interviewed by police.”

The police statement followed reports of the alleged incident in local media.

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According to the Lyon Capitale website an “incident took place between 0100 and 0230 (local time) early on Wednesday morning after a 38-year-old woman was invited to Gomis’s apartment along with another, non-identified player”.

The report added: “The woman accuses both players of rape. She revealed everything to a friend who came to pick her up in the middle of the night.”

Police had confirmed they were probing the allegations, but said earlier in the day that neither suspect had been questioned — as several media reports have claimed.

Gomis, 26, began his career at Lyon’s bitter rivals Saint-Etienne before moving to the Stade de Gerland for 15 million euros ($18.8m) in 2009.

He has been capped five times by France, and was part of Les Bleus’ squad at Euro 2008, but was not picked by Laurent Blanc for this summer’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

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