Does Australian Rugby Have a Cocaine Problem?
The Australian Rugby Union has come under scrutiny following several recent events involving cocaine use among some of its players.
The Union itself has answered the above question with a single word: ‘No.’
Fortunately, a spokesperson for the Union voiced a more detailed answer, claiming that there aren’t enough statistics available to provide a clear picture of the situation. However, in light of recent situations, the question deserves some serious attention as some players may be required to attend treatment for cocaine addiction.
Two former ARU members, James O’Connor of the Wallabies and Ali Williams of the All Blacks, were arrested outside a nightclub in February and spent a night in jail. O’Connor, the second youngest player to debut for Australia, was arrested for possession of cocaine. Ali Williams, who helped the All Blacks win the 2011 World Cup, was charged with buying the drug.
ARU’s History of Coke Use
Prior to that, the Australian Rugby Union had already had a couple encountered instances of cocaine use among its members. In 2015, Karmichael Hunt of the Queensland Reds was found guilty of cocaine possession. In 2006, Wendell Sailor of the Wallabies was dismissed from the team after testing positive for coke.
Racing 92, the French team Williams was playing for, have said that they’ve temporarily suspended him. If the investigation confirmed Ali Williams’ possession of cocaine and the transaction, it would not only be against the law but also a serious breach of our ethics,’ the club said during its original statement.
James O’Connor’s Legal Run-ins Highlight League Problems
After the brush with the law, O’Connor’s club announced that they have no plans to renew his contract. However, while the club’s owner is ‘not here to favour him,’ he says he doesn’t want to destroy his reputation either.
This has prompted O’Connor, who had been living and playing in France for some time, to consider returning to Australia. He hopes he’ll be able to continue playing there without issue, and wants to make a run for 2019’s World Cup. He may have some difficulty, though, since all three of his previous clubs – the Western Force, the Melbourne Rebels, and the Queensland Reds – have said that he won’t be offered a position with them. It would make sense that other clubs would be disinclined to welcome him aboard.
Considering the Australian Rugby Union already disowned O’Connor in 2014, it sounds like he’ll have to pull some strings to find a place playing rugby anywhere in Australia. While he hasn’t been barred for life, the chances of him being accepted by the Union are quite slim. Applicants must list all of their misdemeanours and legal run-ins before being considered.
Cocaine’s Rising Popularity in Australia
Cocaine has been gaining popularity among Australian rugby players. While the Union requires that frequent drug tests are given, cocaine can be difficult to detect. While many other recreational drugs, like amphetamines or marijuana, can be detected for quite a while after their consumption, cocaine is excreted by the body fairly quickly.
Cocaine works as a potent central nervous system stimulant, and that makes it appealing to athletes who have to tackle heavy-duty training sessions. A former chairman of the French Rugby Federation has suggested that some rugby players like to use cocaine together with steroids to help them push through difficult training regimens.
These two factors together are causing cocaine to replace alcohol as the drug of choice among Australian rugby players. Whether or not these recent incidents will change the popularity of cocaine in Australia is yet to be seen.
Concerned About Your Cocaine Use? The Time to Get Help is Now.
Cocaine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug – in fact, recent studies have shown that trying cocaine just once can lead to addiction.
Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, and will only get worse over time if left untreated. If you’re concerned about your cocaine problem, the best way to tackle it is to seek professional cocaine addiction treatment as soon as possible.