Latin America & Caribbean

Cuba volleyball players held in rape probe in Finland

: Detail of the hands and the ball during the match between Brazil and Japan on day 2 the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix at Carioca Arena 1 on June 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The team was competing in the qualifiers of the World League tournament

Police in Finland investigating an alleged rape are holding six members of the Cuban national volleyball team.

They are suspected of raping a woman in a hotel in the Finnish city of Tampere on Friday, police say.

The Cuban team is in Finland taking part in the World League tournament.

Officials say they commented on the case because there had been speculation that the players had defected when they were not seen in the line-up.

Police arrested a total of eight players over the weekend after a complaint was made by a woman.

Details of the complaint have not been made public.

Two of the players were released on Monday with police officials saying they were "no longer suspected of this crime".

The other six remain in custody and are due to face a hearing on Tuesday.

The remainder of the team was allowed to travel back to Cuba on Monday as according to police commissioner Joni Lansipuro "they don't have any information about these events".

Mr Lansipuro told the AFP news agency that "they went to bed normally, early like sportsmen usually do when they have a match the following day. They slept all night long and showed up at breakfast in the morning."

Cuba lost against Finland on Saturday, but won against Portugal on Sunday despite having only eight men in the team.

It is currently ranked ninth in the tournament after six losses and three wins.

The team is due to compete in the Olympics which start next month in Rio de Janeiro.

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