Abby Wambach pleads not guilty to DUI charge

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Retired soccer star Abby Wambach pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a DUI charge she received early Sunday.

Ben Eder, Wambach's lawyer, entered the plea on her behalf in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon, and confirmed the judge's order allowing Wambach to travel out of state for work. He did not offer additional comment outside the courtroom. Wambach was not required to appear in court on the charge but did address the plea on Twitter on Tuesday.

In court papers released after Tuesday's arraignment, it was revealed that Wambach admitted to police she tried cocaine and used marijuana 10 years ago, during which time she played for the U.S. women's national team. She reported weekly alcohol use.

Wambach spoke at the University of Kentucky on Tuesday night.She did not specifically address the arrest at the opening of her appearance but did say she was "embarrassed'' for herself, family, friends and fans.

Wambach was arrested Saturday night after she was pulled over for allegedly running a red light, according to Portland police, who said an officer "observed signs that she was under the influence of alcohol."

She was taken into custody after she failed field sobriety tests, police said. She was taken to the central precinct where she failed a breath test, police said.

Wambach was booked into the Multnomah County Jail for "driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) -- alcohol" and was later released on her own recognizance. Portland police described her as being "polite" and "cooperative" throughout the investigation.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Wambach, 35, told police she used marijuana for the first time when she was 24 and tried cocaine when she was 25. She also reported her last marijuana use was when she was 25.

By that time, Wambach had played for the U.S. in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and won a gold medal with the team in the 2004 Summer Olympics. She went on to win an additional Olympic gold medal in 2012 and won the World Cup with the team in 2015.

She announced her retirement in December 2015.

A Portland police spokesman said it is standard for officers to ask about prior drug use. The documents assert that Wambach has never been in treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

In a statement Sunday, Wambach said she had been at a friend's house for dinner and recognized that she had let herself "and others" down.

Wambach's next court appearance will be April 26. It is unclear if she will be required to attend.

Wambach's arrest didn't seem to matter to a campus audience of about 700 at UK's Memorial Hall, with students and fans forming a line outside about an hour before doors opened. She was cheered and received a standing ovation upon being introduced before conducting a 75-minute discussion with a moderator about her career and life.

Wambach again said afterward that she wasn't allowed to discuss details of her case because it is ongoing. But she added that "I will at some point completely be transparent and the truth will come out. So, trust me on that.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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