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Roosters aware Carney was drinking again

By Steve Jancetic 10/08/2011 06:40:15 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Roosters admit they were aware Todd Carney was drinking alcohol again in the weeks leading up to the night out which has put his NRL career under threat again.

Carney and team-mates Nate Myles and Frank-Paul Nuuausala were on Wednesday handed breach notices after the trio broke a team alcohol ban with a long drinking session into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

They will front the Roosters board next week, and while Myles and Nuuausala can expect to be reprimanded, Carney will be fighting to save his NRL career thanks to his long list of prior indiscretions.

"He has the opportunity to come with his manager and a legal representative, you take information from the player, and there's five courses of action available to the club - take no further action, caution the player, suspend the player, fine the player or terminate the contract," Roosters chief executive Steve Noyce said.

"At times you need to draw a line in the sand and that's probably happened.

"I think the fact people choose to betray the trust - this is a team sport ... I've made it very clear that there are serious breach notices that will be issued to all these three players."

Carney's manager David Riolo admitted he wasn't sure whether his star client would be shown the door.

"I don't know, I'd hope not," Riolo told Triple M's The Grill Team.

"The Roosters have been great to Todd and been very supportive ... he repaid them last year but the season this year has probably gone from bad to worse."

Of course this situation is not new to Carney, who in April vowed to abstain from alcohol and attend counselling as his career threatened to spiral out of control.

He took his rehabilitation plan to NRL chief executive David Gallop, who wanted some assurances that the 25-year-old was working on his problems with alcohol.

But Noyce said Carney's counsellors had advised the club that a total alcohol ban was inappropriate, and the Roosters were aware that the Dally M medalist was drinking again.

"Their advice, based upon their experience, was that was highly unlikely to be achieved," Noyce said of a cold turkey approach.

"So we thought it was better to consider some realistic options - that's the way we went.

"You try and take on board what the professional people say is the best way to manage it."

Asked if he had informed the NRL that Carney was drinking again, Noyce said: "We did a couple of reports to them - I honestly can't remember whether I told them or not."

The NRL said the Roosters were under no obligation to inform them of the change in circumstances, but it is the game which is being dragged through the mud by yet another negative headline involving one of its biggest names.

Asked if he was satisfied with how the club had dealt with Carney's ongoing issues with alcohol, Noyce said:

"I think we've all tried to manage a difficult situation as well as we can.

"We're all footy people and we're trying to manage a difficult situation.

"Hindsight's a wonderful thing - every time that something's happened we've tried to take all information on and do what we thought was the best to go forward."

Carney, Myles and Nuuausala fronted their fellow players on Wednesday morning, where it was determined all three would be stood down for Sunday's game against premiers St George Illawarra.

The disciplinary committee then issued the breach notices and removed the Gold Coast-bound Myles from the club's leadership group.

On top of breaking the team enforced alcohol ban, Myles also breached club policy by drinking while injured, having been forced from the field in Sunday's heavy loss to Manly with a foot injury.

Myles and Nuuausala have come in for criticism for their role in being party to their team-mate's drinking, but Riolo said Carney could not escape blame.

"He's easily led, he's a decent kid, but the bottom line is he's in his mid 20s now and even if you're easily led you've still got to take responsibility for your own actions," Riolo said.

Despite assertions from Noyce that the players were not involved in any anti-social behaviour, the Nine Network reported the club was investigating claims Nuuausala had a physical altercation with a patron earlier in the evening.

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