Olympic Boxer In Drugs Probe

by Michael Fern

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Saunders in the Beijing Olympics

A British Olympic boxer was held by police yesterday under suspicion of dealing in cocaine.

Bradley Saunders, 22, was arrested along with his girlfriend yesterday afternoon. A sniffer dog found a tin of white powder after a tip-off led police to investigate the light welterweight champion’s home in Sedgefield, County Durham. The powder is currently being analysed by the police.

A neighbour who wished not to be named told the Northern Echo: “It was during broad daylight, so plenty of people saw them go into the house and garden with sniffer dogs. People were talking about it within hours and gossip will soon spread.

“I only hope it isn’t true. A lot of people supported him in the Olympics and it will be sad if someone who could be a role model was charged with drugs offences. It would be a real waste of talent and opportunity.”

The couple have been released on bail pending further inquiries after being held overnight in Spennymoor Police Station.

‘Buzzing’ Saunders previously courted controversy in the media after his second-round defeat in the Olympics, when he said he was relieved to have lost and be returning to his wife and 2-year-old son. He later said after a media attack led by the Daily Mail that his comments had been taken out of context.

He had said: “I’ve been training for two years now. To know I’ve not won a medal has taken a big weight off my shoulders.

“The weight of everything: my job, training, boxing all the time, not seeing my little boy. I want to live a local boy’s life now.”