March 16, 2012

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan prosecutors have accused weightlifter Leonel Albarran of involvement in drug trafficking.

The Prosecutor General's Office says the 29-year-old has been accused of conspiracy and financing drug trafficking.

Prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday that Albarran had links to a ring that smuggled cocaine from Venezuela to Italy.

The authorities say Albarran was arrested in Caracas in January, just days after he returned home from a trip to Italy.

Albarran made that trip with fellow weightlifter Israel Rubio, and fled when Rubio was arrested in Pescara, Italy, on Jan. 25, after a seizure of at least 4.4 pounds of cocaine.

Rubio won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. He is jailed in Italy.

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