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Two IPL players detained in Mumbai party
22:02 AEST Mon May 21 2012

Indian Premier League cricketer Rahul Sharma denied any wrongdoing Monday after he and teammate Wayne Parnell were detained by police at a late-night party, in the latest scandal to hit the tournament.

Police said Sharma and South African Parnell, who both play for the Pune Warriors, were among nearly 100 people detained late Sunday at a hotel in Mumbai where a "rave" was busted and drugs were found.

Sharma gave blood and urine samples and following his release, he said they had been invited by a friend to the gathering, a birthday celebration, which had appeared to be a "normal party" before the police arrived.

"When we reached there, the party had already started. There were about 100-odd people, around 15 sofas and a swimming pool," he told reporters.

"I did not find anything suspicious there. I know I am clean. I do not drink, not even beer, I did not find or see anyone taking drugs."

A total of 96 people were detained at the party, where cocaine, MDMA and cannabis were seized, Additional Commissioner Vishwas Nagre Patil told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

Police later said all of them, including Sharma and Parnell, were released after giving samples for drugs tests, PTI reported, while the director of the Oakwood Premier hotel was arrested under Indian drugs laws.

The players' detention is the latest in a string of controversies to hit the IPL, which concludes on Sunday.

Last week Australian Luke Pomersbach was accused of molesting a woman and beating up her fiance. He denies the charges and was granted bail on Saturday.

A few days earlier, five Indian players signed to IPL teams were suspended after an undercover TV report alleged they were prepared to take money for spot-fixing.

On Wednesday night, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who is co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, was involved in a late-night row with officials at Mumbai's Wankhede cricket stadium.

He was subsequently banned by the Mumbai Cricket Association for five years from entering the stadium.

The annual IPL tournament also faces allegations of massive corporate corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion, as well as secret deals to hide teams' real owners and even links to India's criminal underworld.


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