Cole is understood to have shot Tom Cowan, 21, in his side on Sunday 20 February, some 24 hours after Chelsea had been eliminated from the FA Cup by Everton, in an incident in the training ground's changing rooms, with the Loughborough University student requiring attention on site from Chelsea's medical team. The player apologised to the intern, the club's hierarchy and his team-mates.
"Surrey police officers have carried out inquiries with Chelsea Football Club and are satisfied that no breaches of firearms legislation have occurred in relation to the possession and use of air weapons," said a spokesman for Surrey police. "The incident took place within a building on private property and those involved were over the age of 18 and did not require any licence to purchase or hire an air weapon or ammunition."
Cowan has been granted a period of leave, with Chelsea insistent that their own investigation into the matter was under way before the incident was made public by the News of the World, by which time the full-back had played in a midweek Champions League victory over Copenhagen. There was apparently never any possibility that Cole's contract at the club would be torn up, though Chelsea indicated he would be subject to internal discipline which could see him fined the maximum of two weeks' wages, amounting to some £220,000.
"Surrey police would like to stress that no allegations of any crime have been made in connection with this incident and that inquiries were commenced directly as a result of the matter being reported in the media a week after the incident occurred," added the spokesman. "Surrey police officers have visited Chelsea Football Club's training facilities in Cobham and given the club strong words of advice regarding the incident and in relation to security procedures at the training ground to prevent similar incidents taking place in the future.
"There is a code of practice regarding air weapons and owners are advised to follow a number of commonsense rules to ensure the safe handling and storage of air weapons."
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