News State Victoria News Bulldogs sack charged doctor

Bulldogs sack charged doctor

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The Western Bulldogs AFL club has sacked a doctor who provided medical services to its VFL side after he was accused of trafficking prescription pills to the Hells Angels bikie gang.

Richard Vucinic, 37, is accused of writing prescriptions for high doses of Xanax, Diazepam and the testosterone supplement Sustanon for Hells Angels associate James Turner and his girlfriend, Alyce Bertola.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Friday that Vucinic, of Nunawading, had on some occasions written scripts for 500 pills.

Later, the Western Bulldogs issued a statement saying Vucinic had been hired to provide part-time medical services to the club’s VFL team Footscray, but his position had been terminated.

“The club took this action after becoming aware of allegations relating to Dr Vucinic, which were aired in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today,” club chief executive Simon Garlick said in a statement.

Mr Garlick said the club did not believe there had been a breach of any drug code or law by any player on its AFL or VFL list, but the club would make inquiries with the AFL and appropriate authorities.

“We have also referred the matter to the Western Bulldogs independent ethics and integrity committee,” Mr Garlick said.

In court, Detective Senior Constable Raj Tillekeratne said police intercepted calls in which Turner, 27, boasted to Hells Angels president Mohammed Khodr, 26, that he knew a doctor who could get any prescription drugs.

Investigations revealed that Vucinic wrote 127 prescriptions during a three-month period for Turner and Bertola, Det Sen Const Tillekeratne said.

Vucinic told the court he intended to plead not guilty to the four charges of trafficking a drug of dependence.

“I didn’t know that this gentleman was a bikie,” he said.

Vucinic was granted bail to reappear in the same court on July 4.

He was ordered not to issue any prescriptions without the consent and supervision of another doctor.

Turner, of Craigieburn, Khodr, of Balwyn North, and Bertola also face drug trafficking charges.

Vucinic is currently under investigation by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.