Juventus to avoid US in pre-season friendlies amid Ronaldo rape investigation - report

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Juventus will not play in the United States as part of their pre-season preparations, as they have done for the past two seasons, removing the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo being detained by police as part of an ongoing rape investigation.

The Serie A giants played in the US in both 2018 and 2017 as part of the International Champions Cup, which also takes part in other parts of the world. 

While the majority of the ICC takes place in the US, the organisers have ensured that Juventus will play all their matches in Asia, according to a report in The New York Times.

Juventus were already committed to play in the ICC, as part of a multi-year deal, but "Ronaldo’s legal troubles played a role in shaping plans for Juventus’s participation," Tariq Panja wrote. 

"A spokesman for Juventus, which is on course to win an eighth straight Italian league championship, said 'going east' to Asia was normal after spending recent preseasons in the United States."

In October last year, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said that it had reopened an investigation into a report of a rape of a woman who says her attacker was Ronaldo.

The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, says Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 and was later paid $375,000 as part of a non-disclosure agreement. 

Ronaldo has denied the accusations repeatedly. Ronaldo's lawyers contend that the sexual encounter did take place, but was consensual. 

Source SBS The World Game