Wallabies and Queensland Reds player Karmichael Hunt has pleaded guilty to a lesser drug charge, with cocaine possession charges formally dropped.
Hunt, 31, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday morning.
He was fined $300 for possession of the prescription drug Xanax and fined another $300 for a separate charge of contravening a direction or requirement from police to report for fingerprinting, with no conviction recorded for either offence.
His lawyer Adam Magill had argued that a conviction would limit the footballer’s movements in Australia and especially overseas.
The drug charges stemmed from his arrest during a night out last December.
The prosecution formally dropped the cocaine possession charge this morning due to a lack of evidence.
“Of late he’s been under a certain amount of stress and anxiety,” Mr Magill told the court.
“He can’t sleep, he had a tablet [Xanax] for that purpose.”
Mr Magill also attempted to explain why the footballer did not turn up to be fingerprinted within seven days, as required.
He said Hunt had been “in his own personal jail at home. Media have been camping out the front of his place for seven days”.
“He hadn’t left and didn’t want to leave.”
‘Conviction would have stifled overseas travel’
Outside court, Mr Magill again spoke on behalf of Hunt, who said nothing to waiting media.
“My client is happy this matter has been resolved, he can move on with his work and we can move forward,” he said.
“I think it’s crucial for anyone who has the opportunity to travel overseas, we don’t know what he’s going to be doing but obviously any recorded conviction could stifle that.
“Very stressful to him and his family, it’s been hanging over his head for a few weeks and it’s put to bed now, which is great.
“[He is] relieved it’s all over.”
Hunt is not yet free to rejoin his Reds teammates at training, with Rugby Australia’s integrity unit still investigating his case.
The Australian Rugby Union said it wanted to see the court documents before it made any comment.
Hunt’s agent also declined to comment.