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Bramble fined by Sunderland

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble has been fined by his club after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and possession of a Class A drug.

Bramble, 30, was held for questioning by Cleveland Police last month but was released on bail pending further inquiries. Sunderland have now released a statement saying that they have taken action to fine the player and confirmed that his drug test had returned negative.

It read: "Sunderland AFC has confirmed that following a full investigation, defender Titus Bramble has been fined and given the maximum sanction permitted for bringing the club's name into disrepute.

"The club can also confirm that the allegation of a drug related offence has been dropped and that he has tested negative for all banned substances, as he has done in all previous drug tests carried out throughout his career. Sunderland AFC is unable to comment further at present."

Last year Bramble was arrested by Northumbria Police over an alleged rape in a Newcastle hotel but he was later released without charge. His brother, Tesfaye, was jailed for four-and-a-half years last month after he was convicted of raping a 19-year-old a year ago.

Bramble's career started at his hometown club, Ipswich, before he moved to Newcastle under Sir Bobby Robson for £6 million. He joined Wigan and then moved back to the north-east when he joined Sunderland last year.