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NRL rocked by latest drug scandals

NRL rocked by latest drug scandals
May 6, 2017

The NRL's ongoing issues with the use of illegal drugs have again emerged after two incidents on Friday night.

Former Olympic basketballer Damian Keogh has stepped aside form his position as Chairman of the Cronulla Sharks NRL club after being charged with possessing a prohibited drug.

The club released a statement this morning confirming Keogh, who is also Chief Executive of the Hoyts cinema chain, would vacate his role to "allow him to address allegations of possession of an illegal substance".

NSW Police confirmed they searched a 55-year-old man at a licenced premises on Bourke Street in Woolloomooloo, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, on Friday night.

The Police advised "during the search, police allegedly located a small resealable bag containing a quantity of white powder - believed to be cocaine.

"The man was arrested and issued with a field court attendance notice for the offence of possession of prohibited drug."

He is expected to appear before Downing Centre Local Court at the end of June.

Sharks Chief Executive Lyall Gorman said he had spoken to Keogh.

Gorman told the ABC "he expressed great remorse to me that he let me down personally and that he felt that if these allegations end up proven to be correct, the impact it could have on the club and the game (would be bad).

"Obviously if that's the case and it goes through to be proven it's an incredibly disappointing message to our community.

"It's not the message that our club holds high."

Hoyts owner, the China-based Dalian Wanda group, are likely to be unimpressed that its most senior Australian executive has been embroiled in such a public scandal.

Friday night also saw Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich and fellow player Kevin Proctor allegedly consume cocaine in the hours after the ANZAC Test.

ACT Police observed CCTV video of the pair consuming a white powder via rolled up bank notes outside the Cube nightclub in Canberra's city centre.

The man who supplied the substance, Adrian Mark Crowther, has appeared in Court after allegedly selling cocaine to the two high-profile rugby league players.

According to Court documents, by the time Police arrived Bromwich and Proctor had left.

While both players were named in Court, neither has been charged with an offence.

A spokeswoman for ACT Policing was unable to say whether police planned to pursue charges against the players, but did confirm the matter was still being investigated.

Responding to the allegations, along with the resignation of Keogh, NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said investigations were underway.

Greenberg advised "the game has taken steps over many years to highlight the risks associated with the use of illicit drugs

"Ultimately individuals are accountable for their own choices.

"The League's capacity to eliminate the use of illicit drugs by its participants faces similar challenges to (those) faced by society."

The Melbourne Storm, Bromwich's NRL team, said it was aware of the allegations but could not comment further.

The Gold Coast Titans, Proctor's team, confirmed the NRL integrity unit had been informed about the alleged incident and was investigating.

New Zealand Rugby League, whom the players represented at the ANZAC Test, raised serious concerns over alleged incident.

In a statement is advised "if the allegations are proven to be true New Zealand Rugby League will be taking action immediately."

Lower image: Damian Keogh

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