THEY'RE the events on the Gold Coast that left athletes in hot water.

From NRL stars to Olympians, these sports people couldn't run from trouble.

Steve Michaels of the Brisbane Broncos. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Steve Michaels of the Brisbane Broncos. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

Steve Michaels

Former Titans, Broncos and Hull player Steven Michaels was caught supplying drugs to friends and buying for his own use.

The rugby league player was charged by police for arranging about 11.5g of the drug to be supplied to friends and another 11.5g for his own use between August and October 2014, including supplying to Karmichael Hunt on three occasions using an "eight ball" of cocaine of about 3.5g.

 

 

Mark Minichiello, Steve Michaels and Jamie Dowling during Michaels’ Titans day. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Mark Minichiello, Steve Michaels and Jamie Dowling during Michaels’ Titans day. Picture: Brendan Radke.

 

Michaels pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to five counts of possessing dangerous drugs and three counts of supplying dangerous drugs in December 2018 and was sentenced to complete 200 hours community service.

Crown prosecutor Gary Churchill said Michaels was caught as a part of Operation Quaker which was investigating the cocaine trade in south east Queensland.

The charges came about after police tapped phone calls between Michaels and drug syndicate leader and former Sydney Roosters player John Touma, who were both believed to be involved in a cocaine ring, which was exposed by a Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation.

The pair along with Hunt, former NSW Origin fullback Matt Seers and former Australian and Queensland Origin utility Jason Smith were all found to be involved.

Karmichael Hunt

The code-hopper who had stints with the Broncos, Kangaroos and Queensland in league, the Gold Coast Suns in AFL, and the Reds, Wallabies and Waratahs in rugby played a pivotal role in the CCC's investigation into a cocaine ring involving athletes.

Hunt was originally charged with supplying cocaine but pleaded guilty in March 2015 to possession after agreeing to help CCC investigators, naming several former Suns teammates in a witness statement.

 

Rugby union player Karmichael Hunt leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane on February 19, 2018. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle
Rugby union player Karmichael Hunt leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane on February 19, 2018. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle

 

A police report also detailed allegations that Suns players were supplying and using cocaine among themselves dating back to 2012.

No Suns players were charged.

The CCC two-year investigation, codenamed Operation Quaker, resulted in 31 people charged with more than 300 offences and $1.5m in drugs seized.

Hunt pleaded guilty to possessing alprazolam - a Xanax tablet - and for failing to attend a police station when required a week later in 2018 and was fined $600 but no conviction was recorded.

He's currently planning a return to rugby league training with the Queensland Cup side Souths Logan Magpies.

 

Anthony Watts in action during the round 23 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys. Picture: AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight
Anthony Watts in action during the round 23 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys. Picture: AAP Image/Action Photographics, Charles Knight

 

Anthony Watts

The NRL bad boy, who played for Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney City Roosters before turning his back on his profession, was a regular before the courts post his career.

In 2013 Watts played for the Tugun Seahawks in the Gold Coast - Tweed Rugby League and was given an eight-week ban for biting an opponent's penis during a match.

 

Former NRL player Anthony Watts arriving at Southport Courthouse with his lawyers. Picture: Jerad Williams
Former NRL player Anthony Watts arriving at Southport Courthouse with his lawyers. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

Off field, he had ties with the notorious Finks and Mongols bikie gangs and faced multiple chargers including spending eight months behind bars while waiting to be trialled for an assault on an elderly man in northern NSW in November 2016.

Watts was sentenced to 12 months jail for the incident, which he served in the community on an intensive corrections order.

He was also sentenced to three months in prison, to be suspended for two years and ordered to pay $5000 in compensation to a man he assaulted at a wedding in August 2016.

Watts last appeared before the courts in January 2019 when an allegation of threatening a man was withdrawn when the complainant failed to front up.

 

Former NRL bad boy and ex-bikie Anthony Watts pictured at training in Nick Midley's Kingscliffe Boxing Stables, Casuarina. Pictures: Scott Powick
Former NRL bad boy and ex-bikie Anthony Watts pictured at training in Nick Midley's Kingscliffe Boxing Stables, Casuarina. Pictures: Scott Powick

 

Watts is now based in Murwillumbah, NSW, with a fiance and daughter Luka, 2, and spoke to The Bulletin early last year discussing his efforts to kick start a boxing career while working for a Gold Coast concreting firm.

Brad Scheer

The former Sun was caught with a small amount of drugs on a night out on the Gold Coast.

Having played 13 AFL games for Gold Coast between 2017 and 2019 before being delisted at the end of the 2019 season, Scheer was caught with cocaine in December 2019.

He pleaded guilty to drug possession and was sentenced a three-month good behaviour bond.

Like Crossley, Scheer is looking to put his foot forward with the Southport Sharks to hopefully gain another crack at the top level.

 

Callum Coleman-Jones of the Tigers. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)
Callum Coleman-Jones of the Tigers. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

 

Sydney Stack of the Tigers. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)
Sydney Stack of the Tigers. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

 

Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones

The Richmond pair were staying on the Gold Coast in the AFL's COVID-19 hub during the 2020 season.

The players took a trip to a Surfers Paradise strip club before being involved in a brawl while buying kebabs in the Glitter Strip.

Both men were banned for 10 matches - ending their season, including the Tigers Grand Final win.

Richmond players Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones covid breach outside strip club in Surfers Paradise. Sydney Stack orders kebabs at 3.19 before the fight. Pic: Michael Klein
Richmond players Sydney Stack and Callum Coleman-Jones covid breach outside strip club in Surfers Paradise. Sydney Stack orders kebabs at 3.19 before the fight. Pic: Michael Klein

 

The AFL announced after an investigation the pair had been found to have breached the league's strict biosecurity rules in the league's worst COVID breach and were kicked out of Queensland.

Richmond was fined $100,000 by the AFL, which Stack and Coleman-Jones paid $75,000 of from their own pocket.

 

Missing athlete, Simplice Fotsala, a boxer from Cameroon, poses in a series of photos posted on his Facebook page. Picture: Facebook
Missing athlete, Simplice Fotsala, a boxer from Cameroon, poses in a series of photos posted on his Facebook page. Picture: Facebook

 

Simplice Fotsala photos were posted by him just six days after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games came to a close. Picture: Facebook
Simplice Fotsala photos were posted by him just six days after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games came to a close. Picture: Facebook

 

Escaped Athletes

During the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 hundreds of athletes went missing, seeking to escape from war-torn countries.

The athletes from Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone left during the Games, with some not even competing.

It wasn't just athletes who did a runner as a handful of officials also disappearing, such as Rwanda's weightlifting coach, who never came back after excusing himself to go to the toilet before his team competed.

In 2019 only six of the 230 athletes had been sent home and one was being held in a detention centre.

Official documents found 17 'unlawful non-citizens' that took part in the Games were still in Australia, 14 of which were from Ghana and Rwanda.

A total of 13 remained unaccounted for, while four were in detention.

 

Grant Hackett smiles after competing in his Men's 400m Freestyle heat of the Australian Swimming Championships in 2016. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Grant Hackett smiles after competing in his Men's 400m Freestyle heat of the Australian Swimming Championships in 2016. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

Grant Hackett

The three-time Olympic Games swimmer was born on the Gold Coast and returned to the city following years of embarrassing incidents.

Following a successful career, including three Olympic Gold medals, he trashed a Melbourne luxury apartment in 2011 he was sharing with then wife Candice Alley, who was home with their twins, Jagger and Charlize.

This was followed by a drunken night out following the Logies, where he was asked to leave a Channel 9 party and a nightclub security guard at Crown Casino told him to "call it a night".

 

Grant Hackett is seen being taken into a Gold Coast police station following his arrest. PIC: Seven News
Grant Hackett is seen being taken into a Gold Coast police station following his arrest. PIC: Seven News

 

In 2014 he checked into a US rehab facility to treat his addiction to the powerful sleeping pill Stilnox.

In April 2016 he allegedly grabbed the nipple of a fellow plane passenger, which Hackett later apologised for to the victim over the phone and pledged to donate a sum of money to a charity of the man's choice.

In 2017 the former Olympian forced his father to call the police on him following a mental breakdown while drinking at his family's home in Mermaid Waters.

No charges were laid and Hackett went missing the next day but was found safe and sober later that day.

 

Grant Hackett and Sharlene Fletcher on their wedding day. Pic: Instagram
Grant Hackett and Sharlene Fletcher on their wedding day. Pic: Instagram

 

Since then Hackett has turned his life around and is married to vegan chef Sharlene Fletcher, who share a son.

 

Bernard Tomic plays a shot during his match against Akira Santillan at the UTR Pro tennis tournament at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Bernard Tomic plays a shot during his match against Akira Santillan at the UTR Pro tennis tournament at the Queensland Tennis Centre in Brisbane. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

Bernard Tomic

The one time world No. 17 is now ranked 229th and is constantly in the news for his antics.

From quitting reality TV show I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to his current girlfriend Vanessa Sierra complaining about the pair being in quarantine on social media, Tomic often hits the headlines but it was his night at a Miami hotel in the US that saw him on the wrong side of the law.

 

This Miami Beach Police Department mug shot obtained July 16, 2015 shows Bernard Tomic. Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic. MIAMI BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT
This Miami Beach Police Department mug shot obtained July 16, 2015 shows Bernard Tomic. Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic. MIAMI BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

Australian Tennis star Bernard Tomic in trouble with the Police after a car related incident in 2012. Pics Adam Head
Australian Tennis star Bernard Tomic in trouble with the Police after a car related incident in 2012. Pics Adam Head

 

He was arrested in Miami after a party noise complaint at hotel suite in 2015.

All charges were later dropped.

In 2013, Tomic lost his licence after numerous driving offences across the Gold Coast.

He's currently preparing to play in the Australia Open.

 

Nathan Jones.
Nathan Jones.

 

Nathan Jones

Unlike the fellow athletes on this list, Jones' crime came before his turn to his sporting profession.

Convicted of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and unlawful use of a motor vehicle in 1987, Jones found himself jailed for eight years.

Following his release he was named Strongest Man in the World at Scotland's famed Highland Games in 1995.

Jones then turned his attention to the world of profession wrestling, which was highlighted by a stint with the WWE and an appearance at WrestleMania XIX.

 

Athletes gone bad on the Gold Coast.
Athletes gone bad on the Gold Coast.

 

Originally published as Revealed: Star athletes on the Gold Coast gone bad