Suns to investigate Karmichael Hunt drug claims



Gold Coast Suns captain Gary Ablett doesn’t believe there is a drug culture at the embattled AFL club, but will meet with the rest of the leadership group on Monday to discuss the explosive claims made by former player Karmichael Hunt.

Ablett denied any knowledge of illicit drug use at the club but said they would meet with the coaching staff and Marcus Ashcroft to discuss the revelations.

“I definitely wasn’t part of that (end-of-season trip) and I had no idea that anything like that was going on,” Ablett told 3AW.

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“It’s an article that someone’s written but come Monday we’ll put the facts on the table and it’s something we need to work through that isn’t going on.

“I’ve never seen anything like that going on and I think it would be wrong for me to comment because it’s been something that’s been written in the paper and I want to make sure that all the facts are put in front of the leadership group and then we’ll work out the
process that we go through from there.

“If it was going on it’s just unacceptable. Hopefully it’s not, hopefully that’s not the case, but I moved up to this football club and I think they’re a great bunch of guys – I don’t believe we have a culture problem.”

The Gold Coast Suns said they would launch an investigation into Hunt’s claims.

As part of that investigation the club will write to Hunt’s lawyers in a bid to obtain the statements provided to the Queensland Crime Commission that were made public in newspapers.

“(Our) 100th game is a time to celebrate, but also time to take stock of where we are as a club,” Suns chief executive Andrew Travis said in a statement.

“We do have a lot to be proud of – a great stadium, a strong relationship with the Gold Coast community, committed sponsors and passionate members who care about our club.

“We also clearly have issues we need to deal with. The club has a new CEO and a new coach this year.

“As new CEO, I am demanding higher standards and making sure we hold ourselves to account when we do not deliver on those standards.

“I will be investigating these allegations, and will provide further advice to our supporters and members as appropriate.”

Hunt, 28, pleaded guilty to four counts of cocaine possession in March after doing a deal with prosecutors that saw the original, more serious, charges of supply downgraded.

Excerpts of Hunt’s written testimony provided to Queensland law enforcement as part of the deal were published by Newscorp Australia and implicate several unnamed Suns players in joining Hunt in using cocaine on an end-of-season trip.

Hunt, a former Brisbane Broncos NRL player, made headlines in 2009 when he announced he would switch codes to join Gold Coast.

He went on to play 44 games in four AFL seasons before announcing his retirement at the end of 2014, with a subsequent move to Rugby Union with the Queensland Reds.

The Suns have endured a wretched 2015 campaign under new coach Rodney Eade, who replaced inaugural coach Guy McKenna at the end of last season, and sat on the bottom of the AFL ladder before Sunday’s match with just one win.

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