Bramble, 29, a former England under-21 player, was being quizzed by detectives investigating the alleged attack at a Newcastle city centre hotel.
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''Two men, aged 29 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of rape.''
The former Ipswich and Newcastle defender was signed by Sunderland manager Steve Bruce from Wigan for a fee thought to be around £1 million in the summer.
The second man arrested was Bramble's brother, Tesfaye Bramble, police confirmed.
The 30-year-old striker, who has played international football for Montserrat, a British island in the Caribbean, plays for Eastern Counties League Premier Division club Leiston, in Suffolk.
It is believed the alleged rape happened at the four-star Vermont Hotel, which has an entrance close to bars and nightclubs on Newcastle's quayside.
A hotel spokesman refused to comment.
Sunderland Football Club has so far not commented.