Gold Coast Titans’ Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Kalifa Faifai Loa stood down, facing court over allegedly arranging to supply cocaine


I’m sick to death of sport and drugs. How greedy are the players (all 3 codes will be caught up in this for sure) Patting young starry eyes kids on the head, signing autographs whilst on their mobiles trying to score coke and it seems whilst they have cocaine habits.

It is disgusting and ruining sports, who can our kids look up to these days. they are falling like ten pins for gross acts, greedy acts, illegal acts the list goes on. treating women like shit, taking drugs, gambling, getting so drunk they perform all kinds of things…God help sport in Oz.

23/02/15

Representative stars Greg Bird and Dave Taylor are among five Gold Coast Titans players to have been stood down after being implicated in the drugs scandal currently engulfing the club.

Bird, Taylor and winger Kalifa Faifai Loa were stood down on Sunday after they and former Titan Joe Vickery were issued with notices to appear in court for allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

It comes two days after it was revealed on Friday that hooker Beau Falloon, Jamie Dowling and the Queensland Reds’ Karmichael Hunt would also face court as part of the same Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into drug trafficking.

The CCC released a statement confirming four men had been served with notices to appear in court on counts of supplying drugs, one of whom faces seven counts.

Titans chief executive Graham Annesley told reporters on Sunday the players would be forced to front the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for reputational damage the club has incurred”.

“We expect that that will take a little bit of time because at the moment we have very little information to make that assessment,” Annesley said.

I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.

Graham Annesley

“But over the coming days we hope we will have more information and the players will be able to appear before the board.”

Taylor, Bird and Faifai Loa will face court on March 9.

“I’ve run out of words to explain it,” Annesley said.

“Let’s not forget these players haven’t been found guilty of anything … [but] to be constantly dragged through these types of scandals is incredibly damaging to the club.”

The scandal comes two months after Bird was removed as co-captain after a public urination incident in Byron Bay.

Despite a number of controversies hitting the cash-strapped club in recent times, Annesley stressed he would not be abandoning the team.

“This is another bad day for the club, and it’s a bad day for the game,” he added.

“I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.”

A CCC statement on Friday said Hunt, Falloon and Dowling, as well as an unidentified 22-year-old woman, would appear in Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The NRL’s Integrity Unit will help the Titans decide the fate of any players found guilty.

Titans coach, Neil Henry, says Falloon and Dowling will face further sanctions if they are found guilty in court.

“The Integrity Unit are across this as well. They have a big say in what happens in these situations and that’s fine,” Henry said after the Titans lost a trial game against the Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday night.

“We’ll have to be guided by what they recommend as well and that’s how it has been for every team.”

Still without a major sponsor for the 2015 season, the Titans no longer have a training base after leaving The Southport School as a result of the allegations against Falloon and Dowling.


Gold Coast Titans crisis: Five burning questions surrounding the club as the drug saga unfolds

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

CAN the Titans survive the cocaine crisis? Will the five players charged ever play again?

There are a series of key issues Graham Annesley will have to tackle as the drug saga involving five of the Gold Coast’s current players unfolds.

We look at five burning questions hovering over the Titans.

1. What are the futures for the five Titans players charged?

Even with the presumption of innocence in the courts, Titans CEO Graham Annesley has made it clear the five current players facing drug charges are in line for the sack.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Annesley said the club would be conducting “a separate contractual process” and would ask Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Jamie Dowling to meet with the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for the reputational damage the club has incurred as a result of the players putting themselves in a position where they have been charged.”

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over?

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over? Source: News Corp Australia

Annesley made it clear that the Titans are still largely in the dark when it comes to the details of the investigation and how the five players charged fit within it, and as those details become clearer the club’s decision will become easier.

But if the players are indefinitely stood down or sacked they’ll have to rely on an acquittal in court to ever play in the NRL again.

TITANS FACE FOUR-YEAR DRUG BANS

BIRD, TAYLOR CHARGES ‘JUST TIP OF ICEBERG’

ANNESLEY WANTS TITANS TO REVEAL TRUTH

2. Do the Titans have a future?

Unequivocally, yes. If the NRL ever had an excuse to drop the Titans like a hot pie, this is it.

Commercially, the club’s never been a bigger basket case. Sponsors are thin on the ground, and in Bird one of the faces of the Titans has been caught up in an alleged cocaine ring.

Roll that in with below par on-field results and declining crowds over the past three seasons and you’ve got all the hallmarks of a club sliding into oblivion.

The good thing for the fans is the NRL is having none of it.

Dave Smith has used the opportunity over the past few days to give the NRL’s full backing to the Titans and ruled out relocation.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans. Source: News Corp Australia

“The fans deserve a team on the Gold Coast and they will have a team on the Gold Coast,” Smith told Fox Sports News on Monday.

Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly has also reaffirmed his commitment to the club and while his millions are invested, he’s not going to allow the club to fall over.

3. Does the NRL have a drug problem?

Gary Belcher on Gold Coast Titans scandal

Yes and no. The Courier-Mail’s chief sports writer Robert Craddock used the drug charges levelled at the five Titans players to launch into a fascinating opinion piece on why NRL players and other elite sportspeople choose party drugs over booze.

CRADDOCK: WHY PLAYERS CHOOSE DRUGS OVER BOOZE

In it, he quoted a senior Brisbane football coach who Craddock had spoken to years before: “If you were a player why wouldn’t you take them? Unlike beer, you don’t put on weight and fail a pinch test. They are not that expensive.

“They get out of your system quickly. You don’t get a hangover. You don’t get photographed at a venue with a beer in your hand.

“You don’t get drug-tested very often and when you do you get three strikes before you are in big trouble. Whoever gets three strikes?’’

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

The three strikes policy the unnamed coach was referring to is only applied in the AFL, but as Craddock also points out, NRL Immortal Andrew Johns has admitted to being a serial ecstasy user for 12 years yet he never failed any of his 17 NRL drug tests.

So, in short, yes, the NRL and other codes in Australia most likely do have a drug problem but as NRL boss Dave Smith has pointed out, it’s also a societal problem.

“I don’t think this is specifically to do with sport, I don’t think this is specifically to do with rugby league, I think it’s a cultural, society-wide thing and frankly it turns my stomach.”

 

4. Is the DCE deal dead in the water?

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events.

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events. Source: News Corp Australia

It’s probably too early to call it dead but at best this deal is on life support.

One of the strongest components of the Titans’ pitch to Daly Cherry-Evans was the club’s culture and how the star halfback could contribute to it as a leader.

While the Titans have had a good track record for dealing with players who had lost their way in life or been sacked by other clubs, this scandal clearly erodes a lot if not all of that good work.

Cherry-Evans will now be looking at the Titans as a club with a battered reputation and with some massive question marks over the playing roster, with two of their top five players unlikely to play again, at least in the foreseeable future.

A premiership tilt frankly looks five years away, if you want to be a giddy optimist.

On the flip side, Annesley has an opportunity to convince DCE of the benefits of a wide-scale clean-out and the potential to build a team around the star halfback.

But to get the in-demand playmaker over the line, Annesley is now in a position where he will likely have to add some numbers to an already massive deal.

5. Has anyone enhanced their reputation?

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distincti

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distinction. Source: CourierMail

It’s pretty easy to point out whose reputation has been battered by this whole messy saga, but it also needs to be pointed out that at least two people who have had theirs enhanced.

The first is Annesley. Already a highly rated administrator, Annesley’s honest, forthright and sometimes emotional approach to this situation must be commended.

While many others would be ducking the media, he’s been at the coalface taking the heat and providing everyone with the proper assurances that the fans and the club would come first and the issues that needed to be dealt with would be done so in a professional manner.

Neil Henry, while not quite as visible, has been a tower of strength for his staff and his players and has enhanced his reputation as a leader of men who is prepared to do whatever it takes to get the best out of a bad situation.

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Karmichael Hunt stood down for Queensland Reds’s next game over allegedly arranging supply of cocaine

Updated Fri at 6:48pm

Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.

Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.

Queensland Reds star recruit Karmichael Hunt has been stood down after being identified allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) released a statement on Friday morning saying on Thursday a 28-year-old man from Hendra was served with a Notice to Appear in Court to face four counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Hunt made his Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in Canberra last Friday and was named to start at full-back for the Reds against the Western Force at Lang Park on Saturday evening.

But according to a Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) statement: “It has been determined by the QRU, ARU (Australian Rugby Union) and the Rugby Union Players’ Association and after discussion with Karmichael that it would be best for his welfare that he is not available for selection this weekend.”

The statement also said the period in question was between September 1 and October 3 last year and that Hunt had not been arrested or charged.

The CCC will allege Hunt is among three men and one woman who arranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use or to on-supply to friends and colleagues.

A 24-year-old man from Burleigh Waters, a 27-year-old man from Mermaid Waters and a 22-year-old woman from Mermaid Waters were identified along with Hunt contacting the syndicate and allegedly arranging for the supply of cocaine.

NRL club the Gold Coast Titans later on Friday stood down Beau Falloon, 27, and Jamie Dowling, 24, pending court appearances for drug offences, set for the Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The CCC said it was unable to comment further due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The CCC’s investigation focused on a cocaine trafficking syndicate operating in south-east Queensland, which resulted in charges being laid against former Queensland rugby league player Jason Smith.

Smith and Toowoomba restaurateur Jason Wood have been accused of trafficking 280 grams of cocaine, also between June and December last year.

Another former NRL player, Matt Seers, also faces 15 counts of supplying a dangerous drug and one count of trafficking a dangerous drug after being arrested in January as part of a joint investigation between Queensland police, New South Wales police and the CCC.

The Reds cancelled a scheduled media conference involving captain James Slipper this morning but released a joint statement with the ARU outlining they are both making inquiries into the reports about Hunt.

Hunt part of Reds’ leadership group

Hunt was named among the Reds leadership group in January, having been appointed vice-captain only months after joining the squad.

“I’ve considered myself a leader from a young age,” Hunt said last month.

“I have been around great leaders since I was a 17-year-old at the Broncos with (Shane) Webcke, (Gorden) Tallis, (Darren) Lockyer.

“I’ve been a part of the Origin and Test sides, I’ve played alongside some great leaders and obviously my own leadership skills have developed over the years.

“So there’s plenty of experiences I’ve been through and I’ve seen that can help the group and help the younger brigade coming through.”

Hunt made his debut in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and represented Queensland at State of Origin level on 10 occasions before announcing a shock switch to the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns in 2009.

With the Suns entering the national competition in 2011, Hunt played a short stint with French Top 14 rugby union club Biarritz, for whom he appeared in the 2009/10 Heineken Cup Final.

The Suns released a statement on Friday morning.

“The Gold Coast Suns have been made aware of charges laid against Karmichael Hunt through the media reports this morning,” the AFL club said.

“As this matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to make any comment.”

After three years in the AFL, Hunt returned to rugby union for what was supposed to be a more long-term commitment prior to the 2015 season.

CANTERBURY forward Ryan Tandy, Punting scandal?


Ryan Tandy Mad punter and in big trouble...Is he a cheat?

Ryan Tandy Mad punter and in big trouble...Is he a cheat?

Patrons and bar staff have told The Daily Telegraph that Tandy has been a regular at the hotel in recent weeks and has been warned on several occasions for swearing, kicking over chairs and hitting the automatic TAB machine in frustration while gambling.

It is understood he was punting in the TAB section last Sunday night while in the company of a former player and was reprimanded by security staff for his behaviour.

“It was quite obvious last Sunday night that he was doing his arse,” a hotel staffer, who witnessed the tirade but declined to be named, said last night.

“He kicked over a chair and we had to pull him up on numerous occasions for swearing very loudly across the bar, thumping the boards where the betting sheets are.

“He has been coming in a lot midweek for the last month and we’ve had to reprimand him over the same sort of stuff.”

Because Tandy has been betting on the hotel’s automatic TAB machine, staff were unclear how much he was betting or on what.

He did not return The Daily Telegraph’s phone calls or text messages yesterday, although it is understood he has been placed on a media ban by the Bulldogs.

The club was unaware of the Clovelly Hotel incident when contacted last night, with Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg saying: “The matter is for the NRL to investigate and it is inappropriate to comment until they have concluded that process.”

Tandy has been forced to deny his involvement in an attempted sting that forced betting to be suspended hours before the Bulldogs’ clash against North Queensland in Townsville.

The plunge, which stood to rip almost $250,000 from bookies across the country, was on the Cowboys opening the scoring with a penalty goal.

After turning over the ball on the first tackle of the match, Tandy conceded a penalty a minute later in front of the posts for lying on Cowboys half Grant Rovelli.

The match has prompted an NRL investigation and there were suggestions last night that investigators had seized Tandy’s phone records.

Sources close to Tandy denied this.

“I don’t know who is involved in the process but there are various places where they get their information,” NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said.

“We hope to have most of it by the end of the week.”

My Say AND THEN THIS HAS BEEN DISCOVERED, THE MAN IS A CHEAT, A THIEF AND A CROOK (And someone covered for him, I wonder why he left the storm too?)

CANTERBURY forward Ryan Tandy was barred for life from a Central Coast leagues club a decade ago after allegedly placing an illegal bet with the club’s TAB outlet that netted him more than $1000.

The incident in September, 2000, when Tandy was 19, was reported to police but no charges were laid after crucial CCTV evidence went missing.

The Sunday Telegraph has been told Tandy was at the Erina Leagues Club when he placed a $1000 bet on an odds-on favourite at a greyhound meeting while the TAB machine was left unattended.

No money changed hands, with Tandy allegedly captured on footage reaching behind the TAB machine and snatching the live ticket.

“He waited until the TAB attendant was tied up serving behind the bar before he placed the bet. Then he reached in and claimed the ticket while no-one was looking,” a source said. “No-one was any wiser until a float count was taken and the reconciliation was short $1000.”

The club launched an investigation and the TAB and police became involved.

TAB officials eventually confirmed the $1000 bet had been placed at the club, with the winnings collected at the Avoca Beach Bowling Club.

Officials from both clubs sifted through video footage before Tandy was identified.

It is understood Erina League Club officials wanted Tandy charged, but a source said the investigation ended when the video footage disappeared.

“The video footage was clear cut, but it went missing and the police had to inform the club no charges could be laid,” the source said.