Australia

Australia rugby star Karmichael Hunt avoids drug conviction

Karmichael Hunt playing for the Wallabies in a game against Italy in 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Karmichael Hunt made his Wallabies debut last June

Australian rugby union player Karmichael Hunt has avoided a conviction after a cocaine possession charge against him was dropped.

Hunt was arrested in Brisbane in December on the cocaine charge and a second count of possessing the prescription drug Xanax.

On Monday, the Wallabies player was fined a total of A$600 (£340; $475) over the second charge and for failing to turn up at a police station.

His playing future remains unclear.

Prosecutors dropped the charge of cocaine possession due to a lack of evidence, local media reported.

Hunt's lawyer, Adam Magill, argued in court that a conviction would have limited the rugby player's movements in Australia and overseas.

The lawyer said Hunt had taken a tablet of Xanax from his partner to offset stress and to help him sleep.

He had failed to report to police for fingerprinting within seven days of being charged because he wanted to avoid media representatives outside his house, Mr Magill said.

Hunt was stood down by his team, Queensland Reds, immediately after the charges were laid on 30 December. The team and Rugby Australia did not immediately comment on Monday.

A former rugby league and Australian Rules football player, Hunt played six Tests for the Wallabies last year after making his debut against Fiji in June.

In 2015, Hunt received a six-week suspension and a A$30,000 ($23,400; £17,300) fine for cocaine possession.

Related Topics