LONDON // Police inthe United Kingdom are investigating newspaper reports that Ashley Cole, the England international defender, accidentally shot an intern with a high-powered air rifle at Chelsea's training ground in Surrey last week.
The News of the World newspaper reported on Sunday that a 21-year-old man had been hit by lead pellets fired from an air rifle at the ground in Cobham, southwest of London.
"We can confirm that, while no direct allegation has been made in relation to the incident, the matter has been brought to our attention through reports in the media and we will be contacting the club in due course to establish whether any criminal offence has been committed," a Surrey spokeswoman said on Monday.
Media reports said the 30-year-old defender had mistakenly shot the man using a .22 air rifle, the most powerful gun available without a licence in Britain, which he had brought to the ground.
One eyewitness was quoted as saying the victim had "bled profusely".
Club staff treated the man, identified as sports sciences student Tom Cowan who was on work placement with Chelsea, according to reports. He did not need hospital treatment.
Chelsea said in a statement it had fully investigated the matter and that it had taken appropriate action.