4 Dec 2019

Well-known sportsman pleads not guilty to drug charges

3:57 pm on 4 December 2019

A well-known sports star has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the importation and supply of methamphetamine.

The prominent sportsperson facing drugs charges arrives at Manukau Court.

The prominent sportsperson facing drugs charges arrives at Manukau Court. Photo: RNZ / Matthew Theunissen

The man will have his name kept secret until at least next year due to an ongoing police investigation.

He initially faced one charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply, but police today laid two additional charges of importing the Class A drug.

His arrest followed a raid on an Auckland address after a joint police and Customs investigation into meth supply.

The sportsman appeared in Manukau District Court this morning alongside one of his co-accused, who pleaded not guilty to three charges of importing methamphetamine and one of possession for supply.

He too was granted interim name suppression.

The man's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, told the court the investigation was ongoing and there were concerns around how publication of the accused men's names could impact the police's work.

Police supported this application.

Judge Peter Rollo said he was therefore obligated to continue name suppression at least until a case review hearing in February next year.

"One of the viable grounds for continued suppression after interim suppression - where it's a higher standards - is the prejudice and maintenance of the law, including the prevention of the investigation and detection of offences," he said.

Police have so far charged four people in connection with their investigation.

The sports star was released on bail on the condition that he doesn't associate with any of his co-defendants and that he maintains a curfew of 10pm to 7am.

A 24-hour curfew was imposed on the other man, unless he requires medical treatment.

All the accused men will appear in court together on 14 February, when the issue of name suppression is expected be addressed again.