Cristiano Ronaldo will not step foot on United States soil this summer for the International Champions Cup (ICC), per a report by The New York Times, due to an ongoing rape investigation involving the soccer star.
The ICC will take place as usual in the United States, where a large portion of the matches are played. The tournament is also played in other parts of the world, where the ICC has chosen to place Ronaldo’s team, Juventus, per the NYT.
Tariq Panja reports for the Times that organizers want to keep superstar Ronaldo, a five-time world player of the year, away from the United States, where he could be detained as the subject of a rape investigation opened up last year in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas police department put out a warrant for Ronaldo’s DNA in January.
“Juventus has a multiyear agreement to play in the International Champions Cup, which is organized by New York-based Relevent Sports. Ronaldo’s legal troubles played a role in shaping plans for Juventus’s participation, according to people familiar with this summer’s schedule, which will be released next week.”
A Juventus spokesman told the Times “going east” to play ICC matches in Asia is standard after a string of preseasons in the U.S.
Ronaldo, 33, is accused of raping Kathryn Mayorga in Las Vegas in 2009. It resurfaced last year when Der Spiegel, a German publication, released a story.
She reportedly had a rape test done immediately afterward, but declined to press charges and settled a non-disclosure agreement with Ronaldo. She is not reportedly attempting to void it.
Ronaldo took to Twitter in October to “firmly deny” the allegations.
“My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations,” he wrote.
In 2005, Ronaldo was questioned over rape allegations. The charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence.
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