Former NRL player John Tobin has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after pleading guilty to drug smuggling.
The ex-Roosters back rower pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug and, in doing so, admitted to involvement in an international drug smuggling ring.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
The drug smuggling organisation is alleged to have imported the drugs from South America and distributed them to Australian customers through the Sydney Fish Market.
Tobin has been under investigation by Police for some time, due to his links with the supply of cocaine to players from the Gold Coast Titans. Three former Titans players, Joe Vickery, Dave Taylor and Jamie Dowling, were all found guilty of drug offences and have already been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, while code-hopper Karmichael Hunt also faced court on drugs charges.
Tobin will stand trial in 2018. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if Uncle Trevor fires down some in-swinging thunderbolts during the post-lunch backyard cricket game on Christmas Day.
First published in December, 2017.