Request for Roethlisberger DNA withdrawn

ATLANTA — Georgia investigators have withdrawn their request for a DNA sample from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student at a nightclub, an attorney for the player said Tuesday.

Ed Garland told The Associated Press that officials withdrew the request a week ago, but declined to comment on why.

“It is clear that they are doing a careful, thorough and extensive investigation,” said Garland, who hoped the investigation would wrap up within a month.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Wednesday that he could not comment on Garland’s statement.

Police are looking into the claim that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted the woman early March 5 at the club in Milledgeville. Roethlisberger has not been charged, and Garland has disputed the claim and has hired his own team to investigate.

It’s the second time in a year the two-time Super Bowl champion has been accused of sexual misconduct. This case comes as he faces a lawsuit filed in July by a woman who says he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel and casino, an allegation he strongly denies. Roethlisberger has not been criminally charged in either case and has claimed counter-damages in the lawsuit.

ESPN first reported that GBI had withdrawn its DNA request.

Roethlisberger, who owns a home about 30 miles north of Milledgeville on Lake Oconee, was celebrating his 28th birthday with friends at the club and other spots around the college town.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday he planned to meet with Roethlisberger about the star’s off-field problems. The quarterback’s legal team said they wouldn’t object to the meeting.

Steelers President Art Rooney II has said the team is concerned and closely monitoring the Milledgeville situation.