Former Cronulla Sharks chairman Damian Keogh has remarked he does not have a drug problem following his arrest for possession of an illegal substance.
The 55-year-old former chairman of the Cronulla Sharks rugby league club was allegedly found with a small resealable bag containing a white substance at a Woolloomooloo pub as police conducted a drug dog sweep. The former basketball star said it is obviously been a very distressing time personally and for the family and also commented that he had just been bunkering down and trying to register things. Keogh added he had stood down as chairman of the Sharks to try and distance myself from that at this stage.
Keogh, who is also the chief executive of cinema chain Hoyts, said it has been a very challenging weekend but it gives me a greater appreciation of what a lot of our players go through when they have issues. Keogh was charged with possessing a prohibited drug, reportedly cocaine and told reporters that he does not have a drug problem. The former Cronulla Sharks chairman said people who know me know this is not me and it is not what he is about. Keogh said he accepts accountability and we will go through the process.
Keogh remarked he was in discussions with lawyers on the matter. He is due to face Downing Centre Local Court on June 30.
Keogh took over at the Sharks during the supplements scandal in 2013. He helped rebuild the struggling club in the aftermath of the controversy, which saw Coach Shane Flanagan suspended for a season and 17 former and current players banned.
In a statement, the Cronulla Sharks said Damian is not currently available for comment given the challenging personal nature of this matter.
Sharks CEO Lyall Gorman said it was obviously a very disappointing day for our club, a very challenging one. Gorman added we are trying to work through that with Damian who needs time now to address the allegations and we are allowing him that time.
The latest NRL scandal comes a day after Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Sydney Roosters was charged with drug possession after he was allegedly caught with less than half a gram of cocaine at a Sydney nightclub.
In separate incidents, Cronulla chairman Damian Keogh, Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, New Zealand skipper Jesse Bromwich, and Gold Coast back-rower Kevin Proctor were involved.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg denied the game had a problem with illicit drugs. Greenberg said we do a hell of a lot of education and there would be no rugby league player that would not be well-educated on drugs. The NRL CEO remarked the league would stand for it if you take drugs you take massive risks with your health but more importantly you take massive risks for your livelihood inside the rugby league. Greenberg also said we do a huge amount of education, we do a huge amount of drug testing and we are still going to have issues. The NRL CEO said that is the realistic nature of the way we do our business.
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