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Touma to stand trial over Gold Coast drugs

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016 Scott Bailey

The alleged kingpin of the Queensland drugs scandal that rocked Australian sport has been ordered to stand trial in Brisbane's Supreme Court.

John Touma, a former Eastern Suburbs Roosters rugby league player, entered no plea to four charges at his committal hearing in Southport Magistrates Court on Monday, relating to the trafficking and possession of cocaine.

Touma, 51, will remain on bail until the trial, expected to be held next year.

His charges relate to the Crime and Corruption Commission investigation which led to seven past and present Gold Coast NRL players, along with code-hopping star Karmichael Hunt, being charged with drug offences.

Two large binders of statements were handed to Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan by prosecutors on Monday, while Touma's solicitor Chris Hannay indicated there were more than 300 volumes of briefs - which would cost up to $14,000 to print - related to the case.

Four of the Titans players - Greg Bird, Beau Falloon, Ashley Harrison and Kalifa Faifai Loa - have since had their charges dropped, while Joe Vickery and Jamie Dowling were each fined and ordered to do community service after pleading guilty last month.

Hunt was also fined $2500 last year and ordered to undergo drug counselling after he pleaded guilty last year, and high-profile former representative forward David Taylor will be sentenced next month.

Former Queensland State of Origin star Jason Smith narrowly avoided jail time when he pleaded guilty to eight counts of cocaine possession, receiving a suspended three-year sentence in June.

Touma was arrested in December 2014 as part of a network that also included former NSW Origin fullback Matt Seers, whose case for trafficking a dangerous drug is still before court.

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