Australia's Hunt fined over drugs case
NEWS: Australia rugby back Karmichael Hunt was fined AUS$10 000 and placed on a targeted testing programme after a drugs court case that caused the sport "significant reputational damage", Rugby Australia said Monday.
The Wallabies and Queensland Reds player avoided conviction in court last month when a cocaine charge against him was dropped, although he admitted possession of a restricted prescription drug and was fined Aus$300.
Rugby Australia launched its own disciplinary process into Hunt's off-field conduct after the drugs case, which followed a "random street stop" in Brisbane in December.
Hunt, a former Rugby League international who made his Wallabies debut last year, was also banned for six weeks and fined Aus$30 000 by the Reds in 2015 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
"We... have conducted a thorough investigation into the events surrounding Karmichael Hunt's arrest in December, and the subsequent court proceedings," RA Chief Executive Raelene Castle said in a statement.
"In arriving at today's [Monday] outcome, we've considered the judgement of the court and all the evidence we had available relating to Karmichael's arrest, as well as considering the damage that the very public nature of his arrest and the subsequent speculation has inflicted on the game.
"The penalty handed down to Karmichael today also takes into account a previous disciplinary matter for which he was fined and suspended in 2015."
Hunt was also handed a four-match suspension, which he has already served with the Reds in the current Super Rugby season.
He will be placed on an illicit drug target testing programme for 12 months and will also "participate in any drug treatment and education programs deemed necessary by Rugby Australia".
Hunt, 31, signed a new two-year contract with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds in November, in the hope of playing the 2019 World Cup with the Wallabies.