Five Gold Coast Titans players suspended on cocaine charges will be available to play against the Newcastle Knights this weekend.
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The five players were stood down by the NRL club after it emerged they were facing cocaine supply charges following an investigation by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (QCCC).
Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Kalifa Fafai Loa and Jamie Dowling will now be available for selection for Sunday’s game in Robina.
State of Origin stars Bird and Taylor are expected to be selected to start the match against the Knights, with the remaining three all in contention for the bench.
The Titans released a statement on Tuesday saying the club had listened to legal advice from QC Tony Bannon, who said the best course of action was to allow the players to feature in NRL matches until the issue was resolved.
“In his comprehensive formal advice Mr Bannon concludes that given the circumstances and alternatives the better course is for the club to ‘stay its hand on disciplinary action until the criminal proceedings have been determined’,” the statement read.
“On the basis of this advice the Board has resolved to allow the charged players to return to playing and training duties pending the outcome of the legal process.
“In accepting the legal advice in relation to the specific circumstances of these charges, the Board reaffirms its determination to continue to take strong action as and when required to protect and enhance the reputation of the Gold Coast Titans in the eyes of the community and the sporting world generally.
“Should any of the current allegations ultimately be proven in the courts, in assessing any subsequent disciplinary action the Board will be mindful of the serious reputational and financial damage the club has already suffered.”