Karmichael Hunt: Cocaine ban for Queensland Reds' three-code star

Karmichael Hunt
Hunt (right) was one of Queensland Reds' star acquisitions at the beginning of the season

Queensland Reds full-back Karmichael Hunt has been banned for six weeks by the Australian Rugby Union after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

The 28-year-old, who has also played both elite rugby league and Australian Rules football, was fined A$30,000 (£15,383) by the ARU and A$1,955 (£1,002) by an Australian court.

In addition, Hunt must enter a drug treatment and rehabilitation programme.

He will be eligible for Super Rugby in round eight, which starts on 3 April.

Hunt, who can return to training on 23 March, had already been stood down for two weeks and that time has been factored into the suspension.

The versatile Hunt
Hunt played for Brisbane Broncos in rugby league's National Rugby League between 2004 and 2009.In 2009 he signed a three-year deal with Australian Rules team Gold Coast Suns.
The versatile New Zealand-born back also played international rugby league for Australia.He is the first sportsperson in Australia to have reached elite professional level in three different football codes.

He bought a total of 12.5g of cocaine on four separate occasions between 1 September and 3 October from a former professional rugby league player, according to police allegations.

Lawyer Alastair McDougall said his client had made "poor choices", adding: "He'll be paying for those choices for the rest of his life."

ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said: "We are extremely disappointed in Karmichael's actions as illicit substances have no place in rugby.

"However, we acknowledge that he is sincerely remorseful and has co-operated with the investigation and our integrity enquiries throughout this process."

The versatile back converted full-time to rugby union this year after several seasons with the Gold Coast Suns in Australian Rules football, following a fine career in rugby league which saw him spend five years with the Brisbane Broncos and also win 10 caps for the Australian national team the Kangaroos,

Before joining the Reds he had a previous spell in rugby union in 2009-10 with French side Biarritz.