The cocaine scandal engulfing Australian footy could be set to claim more scalps.
On Tuesday, the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission released a statement that may send shivers down the spines of players, administrators and fans alike, suggesting more arrests are to come.
“Based on current information, the CCC expects any further arrests of current or former sportspeople will occur by the end of this week or early next week,” the statement says.
“However, if new information comes to hand the CCC may consider further arrests.”
Australian sport has been rocked in recent days by the arrest of footballing superstar Karmichael Hunt, charged with supplying cocaine, as well as a number of other well-known NRL players.
Hunt – who has played NRL rugby league for the Brisbane Broncos and AFL for the Gold Coast Suns before switching codes again to play for the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team – is so far the most high-profile sportsperson implicated in the ongoing drugs investigation.
Fledgling NRL club, Gold Coast Titans are reportedly in crisis talks after six of its players were also arrested on charges of supply and possession of cocaine.
Retired rugby league players Jason Smith and Matt Seers have also been arrested.
The arrests are related to an ongoing CCC investigation into a Queensland based cocaine trafficking syndicate.
However, in a statement published on Tuesday, the CCC emphasised that they were not accusing the players so-far charged were actually involved in drugs trafficking or seeking to enhance their performance.
“The CCC will allege individuals served with a Notice to Appear in Court arranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use or to on-supply cocaine to friends and colleagues,” the commission said.
“The CCC will not allege any of the individuals charged in the last week used illegal substances in a performance enhancing capacity.”
The commission also warned media outlets to be reserved in their reporting of the matter.
“There have been a number of inaccurate media reports about this ongoing investigation,” the statement read.
“The CCC understands there is a high level of interest in this investigation from a number of organisations and the media. However, the CCC cautions against the use of information from sources other than the CCC.
“The totality of these inaccuracies has led to reports that exaggerate the scope of the CCC’s current investigation.”
IMAGE: Karmichael Hunt of the Queensland Reds speaks to team mates during the 2015 round one Super Rugby match this month. He has since been arrested and charged with possession and supply of cocaine. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)