ARU stand down Reds star Karmichael Hunt

The Australian Rugby Union have stood down Reds back Karmichael Hunt after reports emerged of his arrest and being charged with supplying cocaine.

The charges follow an operation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission, which resulted in the arrest of four people on Thursday night.

The ARU said that after investigating the reports Hunt had not been charged of arrested but he has been served with a notice to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on March 5 2015.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said that while the allegations had yet to be proved they felt the best thing was to stand Hunt down until there is more clarity.

“We support the decision to stand down Karmichael Hunt until further notice,” said Pulver in a statement.

“While the allegations have not yet been heard in a court, they warrant immediate action”

Queensland Rugby Union CEO Jim Carmichael said:, “As this matter is due before the courts on 5 March and is part of a wider and ongoing investigation by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission the QRU will not be in a position to determine a formal course of action until legal proceedings have concluded, as we will not be prejudicing the player’s legal, contractual or natural rights.

“However, it has been determined by QRU, ARU and the Rugby Union Players’ Association and after discussion with Karmichael that it would be best for his welfare that he is not available for selection this weekend.”

The QRU also added some clarity on the reports that have emerged by saying that the period of investigation was not between June and December 2014 and is in fact between September 1 to 3 October 2014.

The QRU added that Karmichael joined their organisation for official pre-season training on 24 November 2014 but his formal contractual period with QRU commenced on 1 January 2015.

The QRU did not reveal who would come into the team for Saturday’s Super Rugby match against the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium.

Hunt was originally named as starting fullback but as he has been stood down a replacement will have to be named.

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