Cantebury Bulldogs footy star Ofahiki Ogden charged with cocaine possession
Bulldogs footy star Ofahiki Ogden has been charged after allegedly being caught with drugs after his car was pulled over by police.
The Canterbury forward was reportedly pulled over by officers on Saturday night and allegedly found in the possession of cocaine.
The NRL and his club confirmed they were aware of the allegations.
‘We’re aware that Ofahiki was charged with possession of an illegal substance and the matter is currently with the integrity unit,’ Bulldogs chief executive Aaron Warburton told the Daily Telegraph.
‘We can’t make any comment other than that.’
Bulldogs footy star Ofahiki Ogden (pictured) has been charged with cocaine possession
Ogden’s manager Luke Lombardi said the Bulldogs prop was ‘ashamed’ and ’embarrassed’ over the alleged incident.
‘Anybody who knows him, knows that he embodies what it is to be an athlete and this truly is against his character,’ Mr Lombardi said.
The New Zealand NRL player’s contract is set to end on November 1 and will not be renewed.
A two-year contract had been put on the table by the Bulldogs earlier this year, but the club withdrew the offer.
The incident is the latest in a string of high-profile events that have rocked the AFL over the past week.
Warriors players Reece Walsh was arrested in the Gold Coast on ‘drug and public order offences’ on September 25 – just hours after Penrith’s preliminary final win over the Melbourne Storm.
The 19-year-old was later charged with allegedly possessing cocaine.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Storm superstars Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis were embroiled in another scandal after footage emerged of the trio in a hotel room with white powder visible on a table.
Ogden (pictured) is set to leave the Bulldogs once his contract expires in November
The New Zealand Warriors fullback Reece Walsh appeared in a video alongside the club’s CEO and coach last Sunday afternoon, tearfully admitting to being arrested in possession of the drug
The NRL is expected to hand down its sanction to all four players on Tuesday.
Munster and Smith are tipped to be heavily fined and suspended for the start of the 2022 season – but will escape further penalties – while Walsh is expected to get a strike against his name.
The current illicit drug testing policy prevents the NRL from taking samples outside the season- and Melbourne’s season was over after they were beaten 10-6 by Penrith in the preliminary final on Saturday afternoon.
The news comes as the Penrith and South Sydney get ready to go head-to-head in the season’s grand final in Brisbane on Sunday.
NRL Commission chairman Peter V’landys on Sunday morning confirmed the game would go ahead in the Queensland capital with a capped crowd of 39,000 after Covid cases were detected in the state.
His declaration came shortly before Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced there were no new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the state after 18,427 tests in the past 24 hours.
Fears of a postponement or relocation to Townsville due to COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State were raised during the week after cases of community transmission popped up in the state on Tuesday.
Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday announced that there would be a 75 per cent cap on the crowd at Suncorp – reducing the capacity from 52,000.
NRL star Cameron Munster (pictured right) is tipped to be suspended for the start of the 2022 season
He will be joined on the sidelines by Storm teammate Brandon Smith (pictured with his mother)
However, concerns of a chance in schedule were tempered late in the week after Queensland recorded just two new locally-acquired cases on Saturday.
Ms Palaszczuk, who has consistently rejected the idea that high-profile sporting events play any role in the state’s approach to managing the virus, said she planned to attend the game later on Sunday.
‘As long as there are no issues that arise this afternoon,’ she said.
‘Can I say to people who are attending, you have to check into the stadium, you have to wear your mask in there and you can only remove your mask when you are seated if you are eating or drinking.
‘That doesn’t mean sitting there with a beer and having the mask only when you are drinking.
‘We have to do this to keep everyone safe so I am making it very clear that these are the conditions that have been put on by (chief health officer) Dr Young and that is what I expect everyone to do.’