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Wellington star stood down

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Wellington star stood down by New Zealand Rugby for use of 'illicit substance'

By Christopher Rieve, NZ Herald

A Wellington and former Hurricanes rugby player has been disciplined by New Zealand Rugby after allegedly admitting taking an illicit substance.

The player was found guilty of serious misconduct after he admitted using an illicit substance in late May at a Hutt Old Boys Marist event.

The Wellington and New Zealand unions were made aware of the alleged incident due to a video being circulated on social media. The video appeared to show two club players with what was later confirmed to be an illicit substance.

The player has represented the Hurricanes at Super Rugby level.

Wellington Rugby didn’t name the player in a statement but did confirm that the case had been handed to police.

“The player admitted his actions in a misconduct meeting,” the Wellington union said in a statement. “The player was remorseful and volunteered to undertake counselling and volunteer time at his club. He was warned and was suspended for two weeks from all rugby including games and training meaning he is only available after Monday 10 June. He will miss one club game and one pre-season game for Wellington.”

The union said he had now also been placed in the targeted pool of the illicit drug testing programme.

Wellington Rugby Union chief executive Matt Evans said they were also talking to Hutt Old Boys Marist about the actions of club players also in the video.

“There is no place for illicit substances in rugby. We are incredibly disappointed this has happened. With regard to this player we have accepted his remorse, he has now put his career in jeopardy but he is a young man who we believe is entitled to make amends.”

Hutt Old Boys Marist chairman Phil Saxton said the players actions were unacceptable and in a clear breach of its code of conduct.

“The club has taken the opportunity to initiate a significant education exercise around alcohol and illicit substances for all players, not just the ones involved in this incident. The players in the video are also taking an active lead in the process and working hard to provide reparation on a meaningful level.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission

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Wellington star stood down by New Zealand Rugby for use of 'illicit substance'