A-League veteran Mitch Nichols charged with cocaine possession

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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    Former Socceroo Mitch Nichols’ chances of landing another A-League contract appear shattered after he was charged with possessing a prohibited drug.

    Nichols was arrested at about 12.30am on Saturday at Casablanca nightclub in Sydney’s Double Bay during a police drug dog operation.

    NSW Police said they found “three small clear resealable plastic bags” containing 1.1 grams of a white powder, believed to be cocaine, on a 28-year-old man.

    Nichols, who was released by Western Sydney Wanderers last week, was given a field court attendance notice and is due to front Downing Centre Local Court on Friday, June 9.

    If convicted, it is likely to end his playing career in Australia given he has already played for nearly half the teams in the A-League.

    Western Sydney was his fourth club, following stints with Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar, where he won two grand finals.

    His contract with the Wanderers officially expires at the end of the month.

    Originally from the Gold Coast, Nichols has played five times for the Socceroos, with his most recent cap coming in November 2014 against Japan.

    His best hope of finding another contract would be overseas but his only attempt so far – a move to Japanese club Cerezo Ozaka in 2014 – was unsuccessful, playing just 10 times in all competitions.

    Comment is being sought from Football Federation Australia and Western Sydney.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • May 17th 2017 @ 1:39pm
      Fadida said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

      Will he not receive a 2 year world-wide ban?

      • May 17th 2017 @ 1:49pm
        punter said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        Ok playing devil’s advocate here, if he is not contracted to any club, hence unemployed, is this now no longer a football issue? This a serious question?

        • May 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm
          punter said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

          As in, he is not contracted to a team & hence not under the employment of Western Sydney or the FFA?
          Yes a police issue.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:09pm
          steve said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

          Being that he is still contracted to WSW until the end of the month, I would suggest it is a football issue.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 2:28pm
            punter said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

            If he is then I agree, if not, this is the question is it. Example I’m making is if he worked for Commonwealth bank, yes Commonwealth bank issue, but if in-tranist between jobs, is it?
            No problem this is an illegal activity & the next employer may look at this record & not want to employ him.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              steve said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Being that he has played for 4 teams already, It would surprise if another team took a chance on him. I think his chances are slim at best at the moment.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 2:47pm
        northerner said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

        Nope. It’s only banned under WADA rules during competition. So it’s not a WADA/ASADA issue. It’s a police matter, and potentially an A League disciplinary matter but not a WADA concern.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 2:56pm
          punter said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          Thanks this was what I was getting at!!!
          Definitely a police matter, if not attached to a club, is it a A-League matter? The WADA issue is interesting one, even though not attached, hmmmm. Interesting.

          Silly boy!!!

          • May 17th 2017 @ 3:15pm
            northerner said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

            If his contract doesn’t expire until the end of the month, I guess it could be an FFA matter. Just not sure they actually have a policy on recreational drug use, so it might be something along the lines of bringing the game into disrepute. But if no one offers him a contract, I guess it’s all moot anyway.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 1:47pm
      Nemesis said | May 17th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      Sad news for the lad.

      Unlike the other codes that give you 3 strikes, counselling etc. with FFA you don’t get 2nd chances.

      Hope he’s got an alternative career lined up because I’d say he’s now completely tossed his playing career away.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 2:18pm
        steve said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

        I’m not sure ” sad ” is the word I would use. I certainly feel no sadness for sportspeople in the various football codes in Australia who appear to continuously thumb their noses at the authorities, be it their respective sporting bodies or the Police, and continually and willingly take part in consuming drugs. I have said it n the other three football code tabs and I will say it on this one, footballers in this country appear to be just plain dumb or they simply don’t care about the consequences of what is illegal activities. Though TBF, the consequences in other football codes are simply noting more than slaps on the wrist. Cue all the usual statements from said player, his club and the FFA. They have all been heard before.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 3:20pm
          Nemesis said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

          You’re either delusional, or sheltered, if you think this is a sports problem.

          From Police, to Barristers, to Teachers, to Investment Bankers, to Surgeons, to Tradesmen. People are shoving cocaine up their nose.

          A Board Member from the AFL Clubs Swans recently had to resign after his mistress alleged he took cocaine regularly during their trysts.

          The Chairman of an NRL club also caught in cocaine scandal recently.

          The entertainment industry (Music, theatre, acting) it’s rife.

          Illicit drug use is everywhere. Only sports people seem to have their careers ruined by it.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm
            Lionheart said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

            no, Serviceman do too, and are randomly tested
            in fact there are many jobs that test, like airline pilots, some drivers, assumedly police, but I’m not sure what the long term consequences are for them.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 7:00pm
            northerner said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

            I know of a lot of sportsmen/women whose careers have been destroyed by taking PEDs. Not sure there are all that many who’ve had more than disruptions at most for getting caught taking other forms of amusement. Slap on the wrist, generally, regardless of sport or code. Which is probably fair enough. On the other hand, I can think of a few whose lives were destroyed by drugs, so I do think there’s some sort of responsibility on the sports bodies to try to prevent more Ben Cousins.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 7:04pm
              Nemesis said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

              Australia’s greatest ever goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich had his playing career destroyed by cocaine. You can be sure if Mitch Nichols is convicted his football playing career will be over.

              Unlike other codes, there will be no 2nd chance.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 4:46am
                northerner said | May 18th 2017 @ 4:46am | ! Report

                So far as I recall, Bosnich tested positive on game day, which is a WADA violation. Yes, he got a ban, but that wasnt what finished his career: it was his addiction that took him out. And he did get second chances – with the A League.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 8:12am
                Nemesis said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

                Bosnich’s offence was in 2002.

                He played 4 matches as stand-in keeper for CCM as an injury replacement …

                6 YEARS after the offence.

                That was 10 years ago.
                He was a GK, which is a specialist position & he was a short-term injury replacement.

                If Nichols is convicted, there is no way he gets a 2nd chance anywhere other than semi-pro leagues in Australia.

                There are tens of thousands of players looking for professional contracts. No rational employer is going to hire a guy who has had a drug conviction.

                AFL, NRL & even Rugby and cricket can make up their own rules & their limited player pool means drug cheats & criminals will get 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances. Or, guys like Ben Cousins they the clubs & central administration just turn & look the other way even when police tell them they’ve got a player with a drug problem.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 9:29pm
                northerner said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:29pm | ! Report

                You continue to conflate performance enhancing drugs with recreational drugs. Taking the former is obviously cheating; taking the latter is not unless they’re taken during competition. Bosnich’s problem was that he tested positive right after the game.

                The AFL and NRL policies pertain to recreational drugs only, not to drugs falling under the WADA ambit. So how, exactly, does taking a recreational drug out of competition make one a drug cheat? It doesn’t. Smoking a reefer or snorting coke out of season isn’t cheating because it has zero impact on performance. Taking PEDS is a different matter entirely but that’s not what the AFL and NRL policies are about.

                As for Bosnich, he himself says he was an addict for several years after he got his ban. He was unfit to play – if he’d been fit, he’d probably have had a job offer. It’s not as though football is any different than any of the other sports – if the player is good enough, all will be forgiven. That’s certainly been the case in recent years with the EPL, which has rules not dissimilar to the AFL and NRL – players caught taking PEDs get WADA bans, players caught taking recreational drugs get a few weeks suspension and are not identified publicly. Their careers go on.

                http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/fa-drugs-tests-bans-covered-up-13-saido-berahino-a7572756.html

                And I believe the EPL is one of the few football organizations that actually does test for recreational drugs. So far as I can tell, the FFA does not, nor do most other football leagues.

                So, which is worse: the AFL and the NRL testing for recreational drugs, and giving a couple of strikes, or assorted football leagues not testing for them at all? On this one, I can’t see that football is any more principled than the other codes.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 3:38pm
            steve said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

            I didn’t say it was a sports problem. I said I feel no sadness for sportspeople who continually thumb their noses at their respective codes drug policies after seeing fellow players continually getting caught week after week. Nothing more nothing less. Sports people are just dumb that they would put their lucrative contracts on the line when we continue to see player after player get caught out. Couldn’t care less what professions do or don’t use drugs FWIW.

            • May 19th 2017 @ 6:07am
              Footoverhand said | May 19th 2017 @ 6:07am | ! Report

              Agree

      • May 17th 2017 @ 3:12pm
        northerner said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

        We need to be clear about the distinction between policies on performance enhancing drugs and policies on recreational drug use. The FFA, NRL and AFL all subscribe to WADA’s code on banned substances, so the penalties for someone caught taking steroids or human growth hormone or whatever will be the same for all players in all three codes. The codes themselves don’t get a say in the matter.

        The NRL and AFL have additional policies on the use of recreational drugs outside the WADA ambit; they test players periodically in and out of competition; and they have sliding scales of penalties. Ben Barba got a warning for his first offence, then a 12 week ban for his second offence. The AFL policy can also result in players getting a warning first, then further penalties for subsequent offences. I’m not sure that the FFA has any policy on recreational drug use so getting busted may fall under their general code of conduct provisions.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 8:54pm
          BrainsTrust said | May 17th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

          Is this a joke . If you got caught doing what Essendon and Cronulla did the whole country would get banned from OLympic competition.
          First offence is 2 years for using anything banned in competition, not counselling.
          4 years if its performance enhancing not 3 weeks or 1 year.
          The player who tested for cocaine in the A-league got a 2 year ban.
          Mitch Nichols would be off contract as he would have been released so could sign elsewhere.
          Since my intiial comments were censored I won’t say anything else about Mitch Nichols.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 4:50am
            northerner said | May 18th 2017 @ 4:50am | ! Report

            The key there is “in competition. ” If you test positive for coke in competiton you are banned under WADA protocols. Outside competition, WADA has no interest. The Essendon saga relates to drugs banned in and out of competition, which is a different matter.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm
        northerner said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

        Hrmmph: stuck in moderation-limbo.

        We need to be clear about the distinction between policies on performance enhancing drugs and policies on recreational drug use. The FFA, NRL and AFL all subscribe to WADA’s code on banned substances, so the penalties for someone caught taking banned PEDS will be imposed by ASADA/WADA and the same for all players in all three codes. The codes themselves don’t get a say in the matter.

        The NRL and AFL have additional policies on the use of recreational drugs outside the WADA ambit; they test players periodically in and out of competition; and they have sliding scales of penalties. Ben Barba got a warning for his first offence, then a 12 week ban for his second offence. The AFL policy can also result in players getting a warning first, then further penalties for subsequent offences. I’m not sure that the FFA has any policy on recreational drug use so getting arrested may fall under their general “code of conduct” provisions.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 2:55pm
      saul said | May 17th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

      I’ve never really been a fan of Nichols, I have always seen him as an average player who lacked skill and was poor at reading the game but he always gives a 100% on the field. I don’t like to defend his actions but at least he doesn’t sexually harass women and make a nuisance of himself in public regularly if he did I’m sure we would of heard about it in the press. WSW should look out for him and throw him a lifeline, there is a time when tall poppies need to be cut down and brought to size, on this occasion he should be given a second chance. A lot of people in the press will chuck stones, look at the spec in his eye but won’t acknowledge the plank in their own eye. The FFA have only one stray sheep that has left the flock of 100 and if Gallop and co have any compassion they will know that seven times seventy is 490 and Samuel Johnson was correct about the true measure of a man.

      • Roar Pro

        May 17th 2017 @ 4:14pm
        David McDaniel said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

        He showed a lot of talent and commitment when he was at the Roar and I was a big fan of him but he wasn’t the strongest person mentally/emotionally. I am not saying he is stupid but he often would let external factors get in his way, such as after scoring a goal running to home fans who had been booing him and giving them grief.

        That showed he was a sensitive person which could be why he allegedly turned to drugs to make the world seem a more bearable place. I hope he can sort himself out and get back on with his life, hopefully on the football field but if not doing something that he finds enjoyable and meaningful.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 3:26pm
      Sydneysider said | May 17th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

      If he records a conviction than that’s the end of his chances of getting a move overseas. Not sure what the Asian countries would be like with their sporting visas but surely a criminal conviction means that he won’t get entry into certain countries.

      He’s only got the A-League to look at now.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 12:30am
        Bfc said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:30am | ! Report

        If Mitch is convicted..Japan and Korea are no longer options….recall a great MotoGP talent having his Suzuki contract ‘torn up’ almost instantly for a marijuana possession charge…sponsors are incredibly adverse to negative PR.
        “Mitch…you idiot…!”

    • Roar Pro

      May 17th 2017 @ 4:45pm
      Josh Barton said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

      This incident, combined with his previous history of issues at A-league clubs, could spell disaster for his career within Australia, at least in the short term. I can’t think of many A-league clubs willing to take him on right now.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 4:47pm
      Chopper said | May 17th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

      My opinion is that he is innocent until proved guilty. We do not know the full story and until court concludes it is pure supposition.

      The FFA will look at the incident based upon bringing the game into disrepute plus any further punishment if the allegation is proved to be true. However the alleged drug is a recreational drug and not a performance enhancer and so would receive a different penalty from FFA should Nicholls be convicted.

      He is a Silly Boy

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