Brazilian footballer Adriano charged with drug links

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Adriano on 22 Dec 2010Image source, AP
Image caption,
Adriano played for the Brazilian national team in the 2006 World Cup

Former Brazilian football international Adriano has been charged with links to a drug lord in Rio de Janeiro.

Prosecutors said that Adriano gave a drug dealer a motorbike that was used in criminal activities.

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

Adriano, 32, had been negotiating a comeback with second division French club Le Havre.

The allegations first emerged in 2010.

Brazilian police said Adriano had bought a motorbike in 2008 and registered in the name of the mother of a known drug dealer - Paulo Rogerio de Souza Paz, known as Mica.

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

Adriano denied at the time the allegations.

Brazilian media say they have not been able to contact Adriano, who was due to fly back to Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday night.

Prosecutors have not requested an arrest warrant against Adriano, but have asked for his passport to be seized.