Archive for the ‘Drugs in Sport’ Category

Overeem Shares Respect for Nelson


UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem has praised Roy Nelson for the toughness he showed in their last fight. In UFC 185 Dallas, a week ago, Overeem threw everything he had at the heavy-handed TUF winner. He dominated Nelson from start to finish and landed a welter of significant strikes.

But it wasn’t enough to put Nelson on the mat.

“I’ve re-watched it a couple of times,” said overeem of the fight. “It was a very good performance. I broke Roy’s ribs; he broke his hands on my head. I destroyed his leg. He took like six or seven solid shots to the head. I tried to finish that fight. I was in phenomenal shape. My hat goes off to Roy Nelson, who absorbed it all. He took everything.”

Overeem credits his performance to his new team and coach, Greg Jackson.

When he first arrived in MMA much was expected from Alistair Overeem. He rose to become the K-1 Grand prix champion, but a series of failed drug tests and two consecutive losses undid all his confidence.

This recent victory over highly rated Nelson and his affinity for his new training base in Alburqueque, New Mexico, seem to have turned things around.

Rousey – Justino Feud Escalates


Ronda Rousey and Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino are embroiled in a war of words. And the longer it goes the more bitter it becomes. And the bitterer it becomes the more the MMA community want to see them fight.

The bad blood has always been there. Cyborg has been telling anyone who would listen she believes Rousey only chooses fights she knows she can win; while Rousey has accused Cyborg of being a steroid freak.

But now Rousey’s Mum, Dr. AnnMaria de Mars, has waded into the battle.

On Submission Radio Rousey’s Mum said “Oh, Ronda will break her arm., I can say that right now. I’ll tell you two things: Ronda will break her arm, and Ronda will not go up in weight. And the reason she won’t apparently is because Cris Cyborg has missed weight multiple times. So if you have her fight at 140 she’s going to show up at 145 or 150. So that’s the first thing. If she’s gonna miss 135 she can at least give Ronda 10 per cent of the purse.

“And then secondly, she has kind of an inflated record. Because, if you look back at some of her matches, she’s fought women who were 125 pounds when she’s 160. You know, that’s like Ronda fighting her little sister and her saying, ‘Oh, look at me, I’m so dominant.’ So I’m not impressed with her record, and of course failing the drug-test thing.

“I almost feel like that’s sort of like when you get a DUI. That’s probably not the only time you were driving drunk. So I’d say her whole record is under suspicion; certainly the one match she got caught at is under suspicion – not suspicion, it’s proven.

“And then there have been several matches where she missed weight and was 20 pounds or more heavier than the other person! So under those conditions and going bragging (about) how dominant you are does not impress me.

“And the other thing is, I love Ronda, she’s a great person, she has many, many wonderful qualities, but one thing about her is she holds a grudge, and she will break Cris Cyborg’s arm.”

Ronda_Rousey_retouchRousey herself has been quoted as saying, “I’ve said before, I don’t care if she’s injecting horse semen into her eyeballs, I’ll fight her, but that’s just my personal decision … This girl has been on steroids for so long and [has been] injecting herself for so long that she’s not eve n a woman anymore. She’s an ‘it’. It’s not good for the women’s division It’s not good at all.”

Them-there’s fighting words.

Neither has Cyborg been silent. She tweeted her response: “Honda (sic) would rather fight girls she knows she can beat in the first round because the last time she challenged herself she only took home a Bronze medal.”

And later: “Everybody knows the time is coming. Ms Housey (sic) please sit front row of our fight and you will cry.”

Todd Carney Wins Case for Unfair Dismissal


It seems you get the justice you pay for.

NRL tribunal chairman Ian Callinan QC has found in favour of Todd Carney, ruling his dismissal from the Cronulla sharks was unfair.

It was found Carney was not given adequate legal opportunity to plead his case before the Cronulla Sharks board.

The ruling opens a tiny window of opportunity for Carney’s re-admission to the NRL.

Should Carney wish to pursue a return his next step would be to lodge an unfair dismissal claim with the Industrial Relations commission. This would most likely be as expensive as it will be drawn-out. The kind of case every lawyer loves.

Chairman of the Cronulla Sharks, Damian Keogh, said the club accepted the decision of the NRL appeals committee. But he was quick to add that even despite the team’s recent poor performance they had no intention of reinstating their playmaker.

“The big oversight was that someone needed to check that the process being followed was correct,” he said to The Sunday Telegraph.

“What’s important to remember here is that it’s not a question of the facts. It’s a question of the process. But the reality of the situation is the decision would likely have been the same.

“I wouldn’t’ rule out Todd Carney returning to the NRL one day. But from my point of view there has been a lot of water that has flowed under the bridge since last June.”

Carney now plays for the English Premier League team the Catalan Dragons. He is currently sidelined with broken ribs.

Titans Set to fight Cocaine Charges


Gold Coast Titans’ Greg Bird and Dave Taylor entered pleas of not guilty yesterday in Southport’s Magistrates Court.

They are two of five Titans’ players caught up in the Crime and Corruption Commission’s investigation into cocaine distribution on the Gold Coast.

Karmichael Hunt (Reds rugby player) has already entered a guilty plea and been fined $4000 for possession of a banned substance.

Kalifa Faifai Loa will face charges of supplying cocaine on Tuesday.

Former Titans’ players Ashley Harrison and Joe Vickery will soon face their own charges of possession. While alleged kingpins, and ex-Rooster players, John Touma and John Tobin, are expected to face court on Wednesday.

The CCC is alleging the five Titans players had purchased the cocaine for personal use only.

Both Bird and Taylor were represented by hulking lawyer Campbell MacCallum.

MacCallum represents all five Titans players. He said Hunt’s guilty plea on Thursday would have no bearing on his client’s cases. Rather he suggested there were external factors influencing Hunt’s decision to plead guilty.

MacCallum told reporters he was meeting with the NRL integrity unit in an effort to have his clients readmitted to the player roster.

Could ‘Big Daddy’ be Considering a Switch Back to MMA?


Rumours are circulating that Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne is considering a switch back to MMA.

The hulking Sydney boxer is scheduled as the mandatory fight for incumbent WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev. This is a fight Browne has long been after and one Chagaev has been keen to avoid (and who can blame him?).

But what lies beyond the heavyweight title fight is as yet unclear.

UFC heavyweight rising star (and former training partner) Mark Hunt believes ‘Big Daddy’ would have no trouble returning to the Octagon.

“Could Lucas make it?” says Hunt, “Oh yeah! The guy was running riot here in the local MMA scene a few years ago.

“And now he’s boxing for a heavyweight title.

“I’m really happy to see the way he’s worked up to this opportunity. But if he wanted to switch back, he could do it.

“It would be all up to him, of course. But Lucas is a real talented fighter.”

You don’t say?

The Big daddy is undefeated in 22 professional fights. Of them, 19 were won by knockout. And he has recently attracted the coaching wisdom of none other than boxing royalty Jeff Fenech.

But Chagaev (33-2-1) is no slouch, with 20 knockouts to his credit and a history of giant-slaying.

The Chagaev – Browne fight date is yet to be announced.


DCE Signs with Beleaguered Titans

Image: "Daly Cherry-Evans" by paddynapper - Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans has done the unthinkable and signed with the moribund Gold Coast Titans. Whether or not the Titans will even be in the NRL next year is a pressing question. But for Manly the news has an immediate and dire impact.

But first things first:

Evans announced his departure in the locker room only minutes after Friday’s drubbing by the Eels. He will be joining the troubled Titans on a four-year deal beginning in 2016.

How the Titans – with a rollcall of players in trouble with the law, five players currently suspended pending drug charges, a litany of financial mismanagement, ever dwindling supporter base, and debts so monumental they had to be bailed out by the NRL – ever landed a marquee player like Cherry-Evans will be a mystery up there with the Mary Celeste.

In fact, for a club teetering on the brink of bankruptcy you have to wonder where the money is coming from.

For the Manly fans, players and club this is yet another blow to morale and their hopes of returning from the premiership wilderness.

Anthony Watmough, one of the more recently Manly departures, describes the club’s culture as “toxic”. Watmough, Glenn Stewart, and super-coach Des Hasler have recently left the club after ver public, very bitter disagreements.

Playmaker Kieran Foran was injured in Friday night’s game and is unlikely to return any time soon.

Furthermore, the signing of Willie Mason to the club doesn’t bode well. Mason (long regarded as the laziest man in the NRL) has underwhelmed virtually every club he has belonged to. It’s not that he lacks ability, he just seems to lack drive. Something the Sea Eagles are going to need in spades if they want to dig themselves out of the toxicity and bad news that has dogged them through the off-season.

Now, it seems, Cherry-Evans is likely to play a half-hearted season (and possibly be viewed with suspicion by his team mates – He has already been given the nickname ‘Yoko Ono’). Coach Toovey (who has never quite reached his predecessor’s ability) is going to continue to alienate his players with his abrupt and insensitive manner. And what was once the most envied playing roster in the league will continue to leak superstars.

For many it appears Manly’s season is over before it even began.

Titans Need to Stop Recruiting Other Clubs’ Throw-Aways

Greg Bird does it again. Image:

80 to 1: That’s the odds on the Titans winning this year’s premiership. Anyone with even a passing interest in rugby league wouldn’t even waste the dollar at this rate.

Opinion is divided as to whether the Titans should even be in the competition. Investors have lost all their money, fans (what few poor tortured souls who remain) have lost all hope, and the players themselves have lost whatever pride they may once have had in their light blue jerseys.

The Titans have been preceded by six failed NRL Gold Coast clubs. The Titans themselves haven’t had a year go by when they weren’t part of some scandal – either in the boardroom or on the park. If they haven’t already used up all their lives they must be getting close.

One thing, by now, must be clear – the club’s policy of buying ‘troubled’ players on the cheap and turning them around has failed. The Titans have, since they began, been using a Moneyball selection process which, they hoped, would allow them to compete with the more well-heeled clubs.

And now (with the benefit of hindsight) we can see two conclusions to have emerged from this experiment:

  1. To the last man they have all under-performed; treating their tenure at the Titans more as a working holiday than a real job.
  2. Once a loser, always a loser. No amount of counselling, support, guidance, or incentives can change these losers. They are and will be what they always were.

These are not the type of people or players the Titans, the NRL, or the Gold Coast want.

There is one glaring difference between the Titans and, say, the Broncos: I have never seen the Titans finish a match too exhausted to move. But I can remember half a dozen games (just off the top of my head) where nearly every Bronco’s player was on his knees or back gasping in air. The Broncos take pride in their performance – win, lose, or draw.

If the Titans are serious about coming back from the grave (again) it’s time they looked for quality players, not other clubs’ throw-aways.

How the Titans Became Embroiled in the Cocaine Sting


Despite the roll call of Titan’s players about to face the Southport courts, police say they are only minor players in a much larger and more elaborate drug distribution syndicate.

Players at the highest echelons of rugby league Karmichael Hunt, Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Ashley Harrison, Steve Michaels, and Beau Fallon – along with lesser known footballers Jamie Dowling, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Joe Vickery were etted by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission in a sting targeting organised crime.

The police will allege they were caught sourcing ‘columbia’s finest on several occasions between June and December 2014. Sourcing the drug is different from dealing it, but a breach of the law nonetheless.

The sting centred around former first grade rugby league player John ‘Leather’ Touma and his ex-Roosters teammate John Tobin.

Touma moved to the Gold Coast after a drug deal going wrong saw him shot in the stomach.. Once on the glitter strip he allegedly began sourcing suppliers and distributors.

It was Greg Bird’s ill-fated Bucks party, aboard a booze cruise on last year’s Mad Monday, which saw the Titans dragged into this mess.

Police will allege Touma, was contacted by several sports stars looking for cocaine. Touma delivered on their orders. In doing so he left a trail of text messages, video, and photographic evidence capturing the transactions.

Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling are due to face the Southport Magistrates Court this Thursday. Their appearance will likely set in motion a protracted legal process that could possibly destroy the Gold Coast Titans.

Titans’ Cocaine Investigation Widens

"VariousPills" by MorgueFile : see [1]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

John Thomas, whose original name was John Touma, has sold his Mermaid Waters unit as he goes to ground in the wake of the Titans’ drug scandal.

A former Roosters player Touma sold his property between May and December of 2013. Yet a note on the door yesterday said he had sold the property because of the rain.

Thomas’ property is listed on his bail undertaking.

Touma was arrested on December 19 last year. He was charged with trafficking cocaine and possessing five mobile phones, a large sum of cash, and a Ford Territory allegedly used in the commission of a crime..

Touma was released on a $10,000 surety on the condition he reside at his Christina Court home.

Within weeks was Touma was again in court, this time charged with possession of and supplying cocaine to John Rowland Tobin, another former Roosters player.

Yesterday, however, Touma was nowhere to be found.

Nor did his solicitor, Stephen Buchanan respond to a request for his client’s whereabouts.

Falloon and his girlfriend Elise Abood, Hunt and Dowling will have their first court appearance on March 5. Touma and Tobin are due to appear before a magistrate on 11th of March.

Prosecutors believe Touma is at the centre of a drug syndicate embroiling current and former NRL players. It has been alleged that Thomas was identified as the cocaine ringleader through phone intercepts organised by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

In time the investigation widened to include Gold coast Titans players Beau Falloon, Dave Taylor, Greg Bird, Jamie Dowling, and Kalifa Faifai Loa and former Titan Joe Vickery. All of them have since been charged with supplying of cocaine.

Others to be charged in conjunction with the investigation are Queensland Reds player Karmichael Hunt and former rugby league players John Tobin, Jason Smith, and Matt Seers.


Punters can name their own odds on a Titan’s premiership this year.


In breaking news, the NRL has taken control of the beleaguered Titans in an effort to save the club from dissolution. The NRL is now the club’s sole shareholder. It has said it will not interfere with the day-to-day running of the club, but instead aims to restructure the Titans’ for longevity.

The Titans still lack a major sponsor, but the investment made by the NRL assures their existence while the root and branch changes are made.

More Named in Titan’s Cocaine-Syndicate


The drug scandal engulfing the Gold Coat Titans just gets worse.

Two more players have been charged and ordered to appear in court.

This brings the number of Titans’ players facing legal action for possessing or supplying cocaine to four.

Outside back Kalifa Faifai Loa and former squad member Joe Vickery were served with court notices over the weekend.

They have refused to comment on the charges against them.

The Titans already have players Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling on charges of allegedly supplying cocaine to friends and colleagues.

This latest announcement has plunged the club into yet more crisis meetings.

Coach Neil Henry stepped into the vacant spot after his predecessor, John Cartwright, was unceremoniously sacked late last year. Over the summer Henry has tried to drill last year’s whipping boys into something approaching a competitive side.

But the Titans have been hamstrung by stupendous debts, long-running allegations of financial impropriety, an endless list of off-field run-ins with the law, mediocre on-field results, loss of training facilities, and ever dwindling game-day attendances.

As such, attracting and keeping fans and sponsors has been, and will continue to be, a real challenge for the club.



BREAKING NEWS: Titans and Australian Test players Greg Bird and Dave Taylor have been named person’s of interest by investigators. Police are now concentrating their probe on six Titans and Karmichael Hunt, from the Reds.