Latin America & Caribbean

Drug charges against Brazilian footballer Adriano rejected

Footballer Adriano in Curitiba, Brazil, February 13, 2014. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The judge dismissed the charges of drug trafficking over lack of evidence

A judge in Rio de Janeiro has rejected charges of drug trafficking against Brazilian footballer Adriano.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday he had allegedly bought a motorbike and given it as a gift to a known drug dealer in the Rio shanty town where he grew up.

But the judge, Maria Tereza Donatti, said the case was dismissed because there was not enough evidence to uphold the accusations.

Adriano, 32, could have faced a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

He had denied the allegations, which first emerged in 2010.

Brazilian police said he had bought the motorbike in 2007 and registered it in the name of the mother of drug dealer Paulo Rogerio de Souza Paz, known as Mica.

The bike was used for drug trafficking in one of Rio's shanty towns, or favelas, then controlled by Comando Vermelho (Red Command), a powerful criminal gang.

But the judge said "there was not enough evidence as to the authorship of this crime".

The Brazilian striker had a successful career in Italy, winning titles with Inter Milan. But off-field problems and injuries cut his career short.

He has reportedly been negotiating a comeback with second division French club Le Havre.

Related Topics

More on this story