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    Hunt pleads guilty to cocaine charges

    2015-03-05 06:50

    Sydney - High-profile rugby star Karmichael Hunt was fined after pleading guilty to four charges of cocaine possession on Thursday in a case that has rocked Australian sport.

    The 28-year-old, a former rugby league international who switched to Super Rugby's Reds from Australian Rules team Gold Coast Suns this year, was ordered to pay Aus$2 500 ($1 955) by magistrates on Queensland's Gold Coast.

    He was originally accused of supplying the drug but this was downgraded to possession, with police alleging he arranged to pick up cocaine on four occasions from September 1 to October 3 last year.

    At the time, he was employed by the Suns.

    "It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family," Hunt told reporters outside the Southport Magistrates Court.

    "We're looking forward to putting this process behind us."

    Hunt has been suspended by the Reds, where he was vice-captain, and barred from training with team-mates while he addresses the charges.

    The Queensland Rugby Union is expected to make a statement on Hunt's playing future later on Thursday.

    His lawyer Alastair McDougall said the facts alleged by police were not in dispute and his client had made "poor choices".

    "He'll be paying for those choices for the rest of his life," McDougall told the court.

    Police claimed Hunt purchased a total of 12.5 grams of cocaine across the four occasions.

    "He's taking ownership of his problem. This was, in his own words, a misguided post-season celebration," McDougall added. "He's suffered enormous economic loss.

    "His two young daughters, with a third on the way, must grow up knowing their father has broken the law."

    Eight current or former players from National Rugby League club Gold Coast Titans are also facing charges after a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into a drug trafficking syndicate.

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