Tyne & Wear

Heroin arrest over Durham rugby player Sri Lanka deaths

Thomas Baty/Thomas Howard Image copyright DCRFC
Image caption Thomas Baty (left) and Thomas Howard complained of breathing difficulties after going to a nightclub

A man has been arrested in Sri Lanka on suspicion of selling drugs to two County Durham amateur rugby players who died while on a club tour.

Thomas Howard, 25, and Thomas Baty, 26, died after visiting a nightclub in Colombo in May.

Police in Sri Lanka are investigating reports that they may have taken heroin.

A 38-year-old man from Wellawatta has been arrested on suspicion of selling heroin and remanded until 10 August.

The men had been touring the country with Durham-based Clems Pirates RFC and had played a game against Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club in Colombo.

Sri Lankan police previously said some British players went to Colombo's Cleopatra nightclub after the match on May 13 and returned to their hotel.

Mr Howard and Mr Baty complained of breathing difficulties to the hotel management and were taken to Nawaloka Hospital, where they later died.

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