PARIS Three Grenoble rugby players who were being detained following a rape complaint have been released from police custody pending further investigations, a French prosecutor said on Thursday.
"The detention has been lifted," Bordeaux prosecutor Marie Madeleine Alliot said in a statement.
"The investigation will continue in the coming days."
France's Loick Jammes, New Zealand's Rory Grice and Ireland's Denis Coulson had been detained since Wednesday after a 21-year-old woman said that on March 11, she was drugged and taken to a hotel in Bordeaux where she was raped after a French league game between Bordeaux and Grenoble.
"It is not a victory but this decision means that things are not that simple, otherwise Loick Jammes would have been charged," said lawyer Bernard Boullou.
Former Toulon player Philip Fitzgerald, who represents Grice, said that his client was "cooperating fully" with investigators.
"There is not much in this case. It was a night out between consenting adults," Michele Girot-Marc, a lawyer representing Coulson, told local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere.
None of the three players have been formally charged.
Three other players were released from police custody earlier on Thursday but the Bordeaux prosecutor had extended the detention of Jammes, Grice and Coulson.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)