Former NRL star Sam Burgess has been cleared of failing a roadside drug test as he gears up to fight an allegation he drove on a suspended licence.
Mr Burgess, 34, was pulled over in his BMW 4WD in Kingsford in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in December last year and it was alleged by police that the South Sydney great returned a positive result for cocaine.
At the time he posted a statement to social media in which he denied having consumed any drug.
His solicitor Bryan Wrench on Wednesday told the Waverley Local Court that his client had never been charged after a second test returned a negative result.
“Mr Burgess was pulled over, submitted to a drug test and I can happily confirm the drug test has now confirmed there were no drugs in Mr Burgess’ system,” Mr Wrench said in court on Tuesday.
Mr Wrench also said that an independent drug test also confirmed the negative result.
He was also charged with allegedly driving on a suspended licence and is set to fight that allegation at a hearing next year.
Mr Wrench on Tuesday said in court it appeared there was a “vendetta” to get Mr Burgess off the road.
He raised comments made by then state Transport Minister Andrew Constance who the court heard said in a May 2021 conference: “We are now of course going to have to go back through the police, the DPP to see what we can do to legally get him (Mr Burgess) off the road.”
At the time Mr Burgess had no conviction recorded against him after he pleaded guilty to three unrelated traffic offences of driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a NSW licence and driving with cocaine in his system.
When he was pulled over there was no sign that he was intoxicated, the court heard at the time.
He was fined $1162 and sentenced to a nine-month conditional release order.
At the time a magistrate spared him a conviction due to the “arduous and rigorous” rehabilitation program the retired Englishman had completed.
Mr Wrench said the suspension was for matters which were over three-years-old and seemed: “arbitrary by the RMS.”
Mr Burgess will contest the driving while suspended matter at a hearing in February 2024.
Story Credit: news.com.au