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Former All Black Ali Williams held in Paris on drugs charges

The Independent logo The Independent 26/02/2017

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Former All Black lock Ali Williams has been suspended by Racing 92 after being arrested in Paris for allegedly attempting to buy cocaine.

Williams and former Australia back James O'Connor were arrested by police on Saturday morning near a nightclub.

Confirming media reports, the Paris prosecutor's office said Williams and O'Connor were arrested around 3 a.m. local time on Saturday. 

Williams, who won the 2011 World Cup with New Zealand, currently plays with French club Racing 92.

Racing 92 later said in a statement that Williams has been suspended as a precautionary measure and it also apologised to fans for the incident.

"If the investigation confirms (Williams') possession of cocaine and the transaction, it would not only be a crime under the law but also a serious mistake in view of our ethics," said the club, while adding that Williams deserved the presumption of innocence.

If there are charges to be laid against the pair, then police are expected to announce them on Monday morning. 

james-oconnor.jpg © Provided by Independent Print Limited james-oconnor.jpg O'Connor is contracted to another Top 14 club, Toulon. The club's owner, Mourad Boudjellal has declined to take immediate action against the 26-year-old, who made 44 appearances for Australia between 2008 and 2013.

“I won’t speak to him on Saturday, it does seem as though there has been wrongdoing,” Boudjellal told AFP.

“But even when you kill someone you still have a hearing first. That is how it must be.”

The arrests came only days after another former All Black, Dan Carter, was forced to apologise for "a massive error of judgment" after he allegedly failed a drink-driving test in France.

Carter also plays for Racing 92, the defending French champions. 

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