Former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL player Sam Burgess has denied driving with cocaine in his system, despite testing positive after being pulled over for a roadside test.
- Police said they were awaiting further results from another test
- Burgess said he had “not consumed, obtained, or possessed any illicit drugs”
- He retired from the NRL in 2019
NSW police confirmed to AAP that a 34-year-old man was stopped in the Sydney suburb of Kingsford for roadside testing at about 10am on Thursday and subsequently taken to a nearby station after testing positive for an illicit substance.
The driver underwent secondary testing and was issued a notice to appear at Waverley Local Court on February 15 for driving unregistered.
“Inquiries are continuing, and police will await the result of a secondary oral fluid analysis,” a police statement said.
On Thursday evening, Burgess took to social media to deny he had driven with drugs in his system, saying the roadside test showed a positive result for cocaine.
“After I was released from the police station, I immediately and voluntarily went to an independent, internationally accredited testing facility and undertook a urine test,” he wrote in a statement.
“I deny any suggestion that I have drugs in my system. I have not consumed, obtained, or possessed any illicit drugs.”
Burgess played 182 games for the Rabbitohs between 2010 and 2019.
In March, the NRL fined Burgess $30,000 for using illicit drugs and threatening another player in 2018, and driving with traces of cocaine in his system in February 2021 while working at the Rabbitohs in an off-field role.
For the latter incident, Burgess avoided conviction but was placed on a nine-month good behaviour bond.
The NRL also suspended him from official duties with South Sydney for 12 weeks and any further sanctions could impinge on his hopes of launching a professional coaching career.
“I have made positive improvements to my life and to my driving since my full licence was returned to me following a 10-month loss of licence,” Burgess’s statement read on Thursday.
“I have undertaken road safety courses and since then I have not incurred any demerit points or any fines.
“I am clean and sober from drugs, living a happy, healthy and balanced life.”