Deaths of two British rugby players: Police probe drug use

Police are investigating whether drugs contributed to the death of two British rugby players after a visit to a nightclub in Colombo.

A source said that 27-year-old Thomas Baty, who died on Tuesday (15), had given a statement while he was undergoing treatment at
the hospital, stating that they had consumed brown sugar drugs.

British rugby player Thomas Howard (26) passed away while undergoing treatment at the hospital on Sunday (13) after complaining of breathing difficulties.

Earlier, the post-mortem tests on the body of Thomas Howard Andrew returned an open verdict. However, his body had subsequently been referred to the government analyst for further examination. The post-mortem examination into Thomas Baty was conducted yesterday and his tissue and blood samples had also been referred to the government analyst for further tests.

The sources said they were looking at whether drugs were involved and if they had caused the deaths of the ruggerites while the source of these drugs, if any, was also under investigation.

Both players who were members of a visiting rugby team from Durham in northeast England, that arrived in Sri Lanka on May 10 to play two friendlies, the first of which was played in Colombo on Saturday (12). They were staying at a hotel in Colombo.(Darshana Sanjeewa)