Boxer arrested on rape claim day before fight

A Moroccan Olympic boxer has been arrested on allegations that he sexually assaulted two Brazilian women, police said.

In a statement, police said they arrested Hassan Saada yesterday for possible assaults last Wednesday on the two women who worked in the Olympic Village.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the complainants worked as cleaners or waitresses at the village.

Saada will be jailed for 15 days while police conduct a rape investigation, police said. Under Brazilian law, suspects can be held for a long period while a case is examined.

The light heavyweight boxer was scheduled to fight in the preliminary rounds today against Mehmet Nadir of Turkey. Saada was not predicted to be a medal contender.

Calls and emails left with the Moroccan Embassy in Rio de Janeiro were not immediately returned.

Saada earned his place in the Games at the 2016 AIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The arrest is the latest setback following a fraught build-up to the Olympics, which has been dominated by Russian doping, the zika virus and issues of security.

The International Olympic Committee said yesterday: “We are aware that an athlete has been taken into police custody today. Rio 2016 is following-up to assist with the investigation and keeping us informed.”

A Rio 2016 spokesman added: “We are aware of the case, a complaint was made and police detained an athlete in the village. We are following and collaborating with the investigation.”

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