One of the biggest names in New Zealand sport stands accused of dealing Class A drugs.
The former national representative was arrested after police executed a search warrant and took several people into custody in Auckland yesterday.
He was held in custody and appeared this morning before Judge John Macdonald in the Manukau District Court.
Supporters in the public gallery called out reassurances to the man, who faces one charge of possession of a Class A drug, namely methamphetamine, for supply.
The maximum penalty of the offence is life imprisonment.
Defence lawyer Adam Couchman sought interim name suppression for his client, which was opposed by the New Zealand Herald.
Couchman, while likely to make further submissions at a later date, flagged at the outset the issue of fair trial rights.
Judge Macdonald granted the interim name suppression order during the accused’s brief court appearance.
The sporting hero was granted bail and remanded without plea to appear later this year.
Acting Detective Inspector Shaun Vickers confirmed Counties Manukau police had arrested two men after a joint investigation with Customs into methamphetamine supply.
A search warrant was used in Auckland yesterday which resulted in the arrests, Vickers said.
A second man, 43, also faces charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply.
“Police can’t rule out the possibility of further arrests or charges being laid in relation to this matter,” said Vickers.
“Police are not in a position to comment further as the matter is before the court.”