Careers hang on court outcome
THE rugby league careers of brothers Danny and Brett Wicks are probably over if they are found guilty of drug trafficking charges.
Former Newcastle Knight, Danny, and Brett, a former Ghosts player, were arrested late last year in a joint operation between police in Newcastle and Grafton and charged with a string of alleged drug offences.
Their cases hit the headlines again this week following the arrest of Danny Wicks’ former flatmate and Knights teammate, Chris Houston, also on drug trafficking charges.
Danny Wicks has said he will strenuously defend the charges, which will come before court again late this month.
But if Danny and Brett Wicks are found guilty, both will face lengthy and compulsory bans from playing rugby league.
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations, anyone found guilty of trafficking or attempted trafficking of a prohibited drug will be banned for a minimum of four years and a maximum of a lifetime from their sport, unless they can show they showed no fault or negligence.
In cases where the athlete establishes that they bore no significant fault or negligence their ban may be reduced, ‘but the reduced period of ineligibility may not be less than one half of the period otherwise applicable’, the anti-doping guidelines say.
Meanwhile, it was expected that Houston would offer his resignation to the Knights last night, as Danny Wicks had done last December.
Newcastle Knights chief executive Steve Burraston said if Houston offered his resignation the board would accept it.
“Chris Houston has indicated to me today that he will be resigning from the Newcastle Knights,” Burraston told AAP yesterday.
“I’ve indicated to Chris that I will accept his resignation.
“It is important that we give him time to fight these alleged charges and obviously he wouldn’t be able to get his mind around football.
“We expect that (his resignation) sometime this afternoon.”