Former player levels stunning drug claims at NRL

 

Richie Fa'aoso has described the depths of a drugs and alcohol addictions during his rugby league career.

The retired forward said he began taking drugs as a 21-year-old with people he looked up to in NRL circles and claims the league has "a massive drug problem".

"It is probably in every sport but there is a big drug culture in (the NRL)," the 33-year-old told News Corp Australia.

"I can only be honest and tell the truth now. There is a massive drug problem in the NRL and if you think (there isn't) you are kidding yourself."

Fa'aoso won the premiership with Melbourne in 2012 amid an 11-year professional career in which he played for six NRL clubs, before a series of sickening concussions and a broken neck ended his playing days.

Fa'aoso played fox six teams including the Eels. Image: Getty

It was after he fractured his neck while playing for the Sea Eagles in 2013 that he started taking ice.

Off the field Fa'aoso, who grew up in a broken home, also struggled with his personal demons.

"I considered taking my life, people's lives," he said.

"I didn't care whether I woke up the next day or not. My marriage was struggling. I was letting down my kids, my wife, friends, family."

The 33-year-old has recently been released from jail after serving time for a domestic violence charge.

But he is five months sober and praised the alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre on the Central Coast that has helped turn his life around.

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