French Rugby has Cocaine Problem - Boudjellal
French rugby has a cocaine problem, claims Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal
The Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has suggested there is a cocaine problem in professional rugby in France in the wake of the arrests of his club’s full back James O’Connor and the Racing 92 second row Ali Williams.
“It’s only my opinion, but I have the impression that in certain clubs and among many players, coke is very popular,” Boudjellal told AFP. “We’ve had the alcohol stage, now we’re at another one. We can’t support that. That needs to stop.”
Boudjellal also said O’Connor’s night in a Paris police cell could cost him his future at Toulon, saying his contract, set to end in July, will be his last.
“He has reopened the debate about his contract extension. We are not going to renew it,” Boudjellal told French newspaper Le Figaro. “We are going to try and manage this season. But I don’t want to overwhelm him.” The former Wallabies winger was reportedly charged with possession of the drug following his arrest in Paris over the weekend. According to AFP, he and former All Black Ali Williams, who faces the more serious charge of buying cocaine, were charged and later released from custody on Sunday. While Williams is due to appear in court at a later date, O’Connor can escape with a fine.
Boudjellal said the 26-year-old O’Connor would be suspended. “He is not going to escape without a suspension, of course,” he said. “After that we will make a decision. James has done something stupid and it’s difficult to defend him. I am going to talk about it with him. He’s a lad of 26-years-old. I’m not here to destroy him. But I’m not here to favour him, either.”
O’Connor had recently been attempting to negotiate a new contract with Toulon, but earlier this month claimed to be in talks with Australian Super Rugby teams. A return to Australia would put the former Western Force, Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Reds utility back in the Wallabies’ frame for the 2019 World Cup, but it seems like a long shot given his off-field indiscretions.
O’Connor played 44 Tests for Australia between 2008 and 2013, but had his contract torn up following a number of misdemeanours and headed for France. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/ ... ulon-owner