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Kiwis duo pay heavy price over drug claims

NZN 6/05/2017 Steve Zemek

Jesse Bromwich has stood down as New Zealand captain and he and Kevin Proctor could be barred from the Kiwis' World Cup squad over illicit drug allegations.

The repentant pair have already begun paying a heavy price for their behaviour in Canberra in the early hours of Saturday morning in the wake of New Zealand's Test loss to Australia on Friday night.

Melbourne have suspended Bromwich for the next two NRL matches while he has quit his roles as Kiwis skipper and the Storm leadership group, denting his aspirations to captain the club in future.

Proctor has stood down from his role as Gold Coast co-captain and from playing and will front the club's board this week to learn if he faces further punishment.

The pair will also be subject to punishment from the New Zealand Rugby League, with a committee to meet this week.

Asked if they could be suspended from the World Cup later this year, NZRL CEO Alex Hayton said: "That could be one of a number of sanctions.

"Until we get the group together it would be speculation but it's one of a number of options."

A local man appeared in court in Canberra on Saturday after allegedly selling cocaine to two high-profile rugby league players.

Neither Bromwich nor Proctor admitted buying or taking the drug in statements issued on Sunday but both were highly apologetic and said they had been heavily intoxicated.

Proctor said he had been too drunk to recall exactly what happened at the Cube nightclub.

"Although I can't remember exactly what happened, I don't deny it," Proctor said.

"I am devastated by the whole thing and can't apologise enough to my Kiwi teammates, the NRL, the Titans, and all fans of the game.

"I've never been in this sort of trouble in my career. I have never failed a drug test, and I'm so sorry I've let everyone down by losing control of my personal decisions by drinking too much alcohol.

"I have a wife and young family, and taking drugs is not something I support or encourage because I am very aware of the damage it can do."

Bromwich said: "I regret making the choice of staying out with my teammates until the early hours of Saturday morning, as well as consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.

"I take full responsibility for the poor choices I made, I am devastated and my actions were out of character."

"Playing footy for Melbourne Storm and the Kiwis is a great honour and I apologise for letting down everyone involved in both organisations."

Titans CEO Graham Annesley said Proctor would be issued with a breach notice and had been stood down from playing until the matter was dealt with by the club's board.

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