Former Middlesbrough midfielder arrested after he was linked to Brazilian cock-fighting ring
Former Middlesbrough midfielder Fabio Rochemback has been caught up in a cock-fighting ring in his native Brazil.
Reports claimed the 35-year-old, who spent three seasons at the Riverside Stadium between 2005 and 2008, was arrested after police in Rio Grande do Sul raided a fighting event that allegedly saw 89 roosters seized along with a large amount of money.
A press officer for the local police confirmed to Press Association Sport on Tuesday evening, however, that Rochemback had not been arrested, but could face prosecution - and a maximum two-year prison sentence - after signing a Circumstantiated Occurrence Term (TCO) for committing an "environmental crime".
"Yes, he has signed a Circumstantiated Term and will respond for environmental crimes," the press officer said.
"A TCO is a document of an infraction of lesser offensive potential that carries a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison."
Promoter of justice, Marcos Eduardo Rauber, told Globo Esporte: "It was a big inter-state event, with people from Santa Catarina and Parana.
"There were people with lots of cash. All were caught red-handed, some betting, others just watching."
Rochemback's father has denied that his son was even present at the event.
Juarez Rochemback told Globo Esporte: "Fabio was with me at the farm in Soledade, but now he's back in Porto Alegre."
Fabio Rochemback began his football career in his homeland with Internacional before joining Barcelona in 2001 at the age of 20.
He joined Boro in 2005 and also played for Sporting Lisbon, Gremio, Chinese side Dalian Yifang and Brazilian side Passo Fundo before retiring in 2014 with seven caps for his country.