A warning to all NRL players: do not kiss Gabe Hamlin. Don’t kiss him on the field, in the scrum, at the ruck or while celebrating a try. Don’t kiss him in the dressing room, at training or while out on the town with the boys. Kissing the NRL player could result in a positive cocaine test and a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
The former South Sydney player and new Cronulla recruit tested positive to cocaine while playing for Wigan in the English Super League, but claims he didn’t intentionally take cocaine. Instead, he is adamant he ingested the cocaine after kissing a woman he met on a dating app.
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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
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.
Hamlin was banned from the Super League for two years but argued in a court of law that the cocaine passed into his system after kissing a woman who had previously taken cocaine. Hamlin also argued during the trial that the woman went to the bathroom several times during their rendezvous, to ‘powder her nose’, but he didn’t know that the ‘powder’ found in his bathroom the next morning was cocaine.
Maybe it was sherbet. Maybe it was talcum powder, but not cocaine.
Unfortunately for Hamlin, the judge did not believe his claims of transmission by kissing, and he was handed a two-year ban from the English game. He is now attempting to resurrect his career with the Sharks in the NRL, and has advised his new teammates that his lips are strictly off limits for the foreseeable future.
Judges of The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame have told Hamlin that he can kiss anyone he likes at the Frownlow awards night, where anything goes.