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Police drop sex abuse investigation of AAU's Dodd

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Memphis police have ended their investigation of Robert "Bobby" Dodd, who lost his job as president of the Amateur Athletic Union after two former players claimed he sexually abused them in the 1980s, his attorney said Thursday.

"Memphis police have said they are not pursuing charges, that nobody has filed a criminal complaint and they've got nothing to go on," said attorney Steve Farese.

Memphis police opened an investigation into Dodd, who had led one of the nation's largest youth sports groups, after sports network ESPN first reported the men's complaints in December.

The complaints focused on the years Dodd spent in youth sports in Memphis. ESPN.com has since reported that the accusers, who were youth basketball players at the time, will not file formal criminal complaints.

The accusers spoke to ESPN soon after a former Penn State football coach was charged with serial sex abuse of boys, and two former ball boys accused a Syracuse University basketball coach of abusing them.

The men said they were emboldened to go public with their accusations against Dodd following the national publicity about sex abuse of children in the sports world.

A representative for Memphis police was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

The decision not to pursue the investigation will have no affect on the AAU, a spokesman for the youth sports organization told Reuters.

"Bobby Dodd and the AAU have parted ways for good," said Ron Sachs, whose public relations firm represents the AAU. "He is no longer a part of the leadership of the organization or a participant at any level."

The AAU had said previously that it was conducting its own independent investigation. Dodd was dealing with serious health issues related to his treatment for colon cancer, the AAU said.

Farese said that Dodd is doing better "mentally, emotionally and physically" since the most recent developments.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

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