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Cardiff youth coach Bellamy steps down over bullying claims

Cardiff youth coach Bellamy steps down over bullying claims
FILE PHOTO: Former Cardiff City player Craig Bellamy at Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, 3/12/16. Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Adam Holt/File Photo -
Reuters Staff(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - Cardiff City under-18 coach Craig Bellamy has denied allegations that he bullied an academy player but stepped down from his role on Thursday pending an investigation from the Premier League side.

British media reports said Cardiff had received a complaint against former Wales captain Bellamy over his alleged treatment of a young English player who has since left the club.

Cardiff have begun an investigation and former Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle United striker Bellamy said that he was fully cooperating.

"I am aware of the allegations that have been made against me via the media," Bellamy said in a statement.

"I understand the need for Cardiff City to undertake a full investigation in response to these allegations -- and my own suggestion -- I have temporarily removed myself from my coaching position in order to co-operate fully with the club's inquiry.

"Obviously, I am saddened both by the allegations and the manner in which they were made and I categorically refute them."

Bellamy said he had sought legal advice as to his position and expected to return to his role once the investigation had been completed.

The 39-year-old retired from soccer in 2014 following a two-year stint with his hometown club Cardiff before taking up a coaching role in their academy.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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