US sportswear giant Nike suggests it stopped working with Brazilian footballer Neymar due to the fact he “refused to co-run in a excellent religion investigation” into an allegation of sexual assault against an worker.
The alleged incident happened in 2016 and was claimed to Nike in 2018.
Nike reported its investigation was inconclusive.
A spokeswoman for Neymar mentioned he denied the sexual assault and split with Nike last 12 months for business factors.
“Neymar Jr will vigorously protect himself from these baseless attacks in circumstance any assert is offered, which did not occur so far,” she told the Wall Avenue Journal (WSJ) newspaper, which initial reported the information.
Nike parted approaches with Neymar in August 2020, ending a single of its most superior-profile sponsorship discounts. The organization gave no explanation for the split at the time.
In its assertion on Thursday, it explained: “It would be inappropriate for Nike to make an accusatory statement without having currently being capable to deliver supporting points.”
But it extra: “Nike finished its romance with the athlete simply because he refused to co-work in a very good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an staff.”
Nike explained the staff reported the allegations in 2018 but at first wished to avoid an investigation and continue to keep it private. It claimed it commissioned an independent investigation into the make a difference the adhering to 12 months, when she expressed an desire in pursuing it.
The alleged target has not been named, with Nike expressing: “We continue on to regard the confidentiality of the personnel and also recognise that this has been a prolonged and tough knowledge for her.”
Neymar at present plays for French side Paris Saint-Germain.
He previously denied accusations of rape in 2019, in a circumstance that was inevitably dropped.