Broncos players and staff visit Ipswich for a training session at Brothers Leagues Club.
Broncos players and staff visit Ipswich for a training session at Brothers Leagues Club. David Nielsen

Brisbane Broncos whispers stop bets

BETTINGagencies suspended their markets on the opening round NRL match between Brisbane and South Sydney after speculation the Broncos were about to be drawn into the league's cocaine crisis.

Six present and former Gold Coast Titans players were charged this week with supplying or possession of cocaine.

Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission did not make any new arrests yesterday, but did say that based on current information "any further arrests of current or former sportspeople will occur by the end of this week or early next week".

Speculation suggested as many as four present and past high-profile Broncos players could be handed notices to appear before the QCCC in coming days.

Reports also emerged that Broncos coach Wayne Bennett had laid down the law to his players about drug use during the World Club Series in England last weekend after the situation at the Titans emerged.

Other codes have also taken steps to determine if any of their players may be dragged into the scandal.

New Gold Coast Suns coach Rodney Eade said he had spoken to his players about the situation and been assured none of them were involved.

Former Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown said the AFL needed to look at applying harsher penalties for illicit drug use.

Brown said while the present three-strikes policy - which allows players two positive returns before being punished for a third - was working to some degree, it was time to toughen up.

He also said the charges laid against former Gold Coast player Karmichael Hunt for supplying cocaine should be a wake-up call for the AFL.

"I think we'd be naive to think there wouldn't be some players taking them (drugs) in the AFL as well," Brown said.



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