FORMER Gold Coast player Karmichael Hunt has been finedafter pleading guilty to four counts of possessing cocaine.
Hunt, 28, pleaded guilty to four charges of possessingcocaine at Southport Magistrates Court on Thursday after purchasing a total of12.5 grams of the drug on four occasions from September 1 to October 3.
He was fined $2500.
On Thursday afternoon the Australian Rugby Union and theQueensland Reds, Hunt's new club, added a $30,000 fine and a six-weeksuspension to his punishment.
He was also stripped of the club's vice-captaincy andordered to undertake a drug rehabilitation program.
Hunt was originally charged with supplying cocaine beforethe charges were downgraded.
Hunt bought the drugs from alleged trafficking syndicatekingpin John Touma, a former professional rugby league player from the 1980s.
On two occasions Hunt bought 3.5g of cocaine from Touma,with alleged syndicate member and former North Sydney and Wests Tigers NRLplayer Matt Seers acting as a middle man for the third and fourth deals.
Police prosecutor Kirsty Johnson told the court the dealshad occurred at a pizza store in Mermaid Beach and the Crowne Plaza hotel inSurfers Paradise.
Hunt's barrister, Alastair McDougall, told the court hisclient had shown genuine remorse by pleading guilty at the first occasion andhe was taking ownership of his problems.
"As he said to me, 'It's very easy to deal with anissue when you tell yourself the truth'," Mr McDougall said.
"This was, in his own words, a misguided post-seasoncelebration.
"He's suffered enormous economic loss.
"His two young daughters, with a third on the way, mustgrow up knowing their father has broken the law."
Speaking outside court, Hunt said he was relieved with theoutcome.
"It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me and myfamily," he said.
"We're looking forward to putting this process behindus.
"I made a terrible mistake last year and have no onebut myself to blame for this situation.
"I am genuinely sorry for the distress I havecaused."
Hunt was assisted by character references from severalpeople including Gold Coast list manager Scott Clayton and seven-time NRLpremiership coach Wayne Bennett.
Hunt played 44 games for the Suns, officially ending his AFLcareer at the end of last season.
The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission alleged Huntarranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use and on-sale to friendsbetween June and December 2014, part of which time he was still on the Sunslist.
The AFL has indicated its integrity unit is in dialogue withGold Coast officials.