EX-Crim’s Allowed Back Into NRL, So Why Not Me? Asks Todd Carney

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NRL outcast Todd Carney hasn’t run out onto the paddock for his Catalan Dragons yet already he is considring a return to Australian Rugby League.

“I haven’t been in jail, haven’t bashed my wife, haven’t sold drugs to kids or done drugs, and those are the players who seem to be allowed back in,” he said to reporters.

Nor, it must be said, has he been involved in performance enhancing supplements.

Carney blew onto the national rugby league seen as a precociously talented 17 year-old in 2004 with the Canberra Raiders. Since then he has amassed a string of alcohol-related offences that has seen him banned from driving, banned from setting foot in his home town of Goulburn and, eventually, banned from playing rugby league in Australia.

And while many of his offences have been dealt with in the courts none of them were serious enough to warrant time in prison and none of them were deemed to be cheating.

Cronulla and New South Wales Captain Paul Gallen got a paltry one month on the sideline for cheating. He plead guilty to taking performance enhancing peptides in 2007. Previous Outrageous Sports articles have detailed the jaw-dropping improvements in Gallen’s meters run per game since that time. And yet Todd Carney gets banned for life for a series of embarrassing off-field misdemeanours and infractions.

Carney delivered the predictable script on how the change to the Dragons has been good for him: “Good headspace”, “allows me to focus on my goals”, “this is a new chapter for me”, etc, etc.

Where he goes off-script is on the subject of alcohol.

He admits it’s the common denominator behind his problems with the NRL, but he refuses to give it up.

“I never said I won’t drink and I never will because I think – well, it’s not part of rugby league, but it’s something I enjoy. The minute say I’m off the drink there’s eyes watching to see if I have a drink.

“There’s ways to work around it, moderation. Over here it’s completely different. It’s not always there to go for a drink and do whatever. It’s not something I stress over. The focus on me is to get better at football and lead a good life.”

Carney then returned to the script saying, “I gave myself to the Catalans Dragons and that’s where my main focus is.

“I’ve signed for three years, which will take me to 31 years of age,” he pauses. “It definitely leaves an option to go home. But that’s up to the NRL.”

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