FORMER West Coast Eagles premiership player Daniel Chick has been fined $7000 with $1000 costs after pleading guilty to importing performance and image enhancing steroids from Thailand.
Chick, 33, was caught with nine vials and a number of pills of anabolic steroids concealed in his luggage after landing at Perth Airport on October 9 last year, the Perth Magistrates Court heard today.
Chick’s lawyer Michael Tudori today entered pleas of guilty on the ex-footballer’s behalf to two charges of importing a prohibited import and knowingly or purposely making a false, misleading statement to a Customs officer.
Mr Tudori said the former Eagle, who retired from football last year after two seasons with Subiaco in the WAFL, could not appear in court because he was working a fly-in fly-out roster as a crane driver and driller at the Pluto LNG site in the state’s north.
Mr Tudori described Chick’s actions as a “foolish act”, saying that he bought the steroids as part of a “health program” to rehabilitate his battered body after 12 years of professional football.
Chick played a particularly brutal, bruising brand of football and suffered numerous injuries over a long career with Hawthorn and West Coast.
He had a finger amputated after it was so severely broken it would not heal.
Before leaving on the holiday to Thailand, Chick decided to start a “health program” and two weeks before the end of the trip he bought the steroids, the court heard.
“He commenced a steroid program and it was to continue” he told the court.
Mr Tudori said when Chick arrived at the airport and completed his Customs form, which failed to declare the drugs, he had been “groggy” because of a potent sleeping pill he had taken during the flight.
“He ticked the green one instead of the red one – he accepts that” he said.
Mr Tudori asked Magistrate Elizabeth Woods to grant a spent conviction order so he could continue working up north, saying that the former footballer had “done it tough’’ after ending his career and would likely be sacked.
“At the end of his AFL football career he has worked very hard to make a life after football” Mr Tudori told the court.
“He is not like others who have pubs and alike. He has had to go back and had to do it the hard way, he has gone back to the tools.”
Mr Tudori said the conviction would also stop Chick seeing his eight-year-old son who lived with his former partner in the US.
Magistrate Woods granted a spent conviction saying that the unusual custody deal which forced Chick to fly to Los Angeles to see his son was a special circumstance.
Magistrate Woods fined him $7000 for the two charges, ordered he pay Customs another $1000 for court costs and placed him on a good behaviour bond for 18 months.
Outside court Mr Tudori said Chick was “relieved and remorseful” for his actions. “He made an error, he is sorry, he wants to get on with life after football” he told reporters.
Asked if Chick took drugs during his playing career, Mr Tudori said: “absolutely not. Anyone who knows him or has followed Daniel’s career knows that is not the case”.
He said he was no longer taking steroids. At the time, Chick’s friends told The Sunday Times the footballer had been prescribed steroidal drugs for asthma and chest infections.
Story from PerthNow. com.au