Hunt avoids drugs conviction

first_imgThe 31-year-old’s future remains in the hands of Rugby Australia, who say they have “resumed” an investigation into his conduct after prosecutors dropped a cocaine charge against him in court yesterday.A statement from Rugby Australia said Hunt would continue his “voluntary stand- down” from all rugby duties until the matter is resolved.It means his playing career is still in limbo, with the national governing body a chance of tearing up his contract for bringing the game into disrepute.Hunt has not trained with the Reds since his arrest on December 30 in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.But he has been keeping fit at a Brisbane boxing gym alongside fellow Reds exile Quade Cooper, who is out of favour and has been told not to come to training based on performance reasons.Hunt pleaded guilty to possessing alprazolam – a tablet of Xanax – and to contravening a police direction after failing to attend a police station when required to give fingerprints. He was handed a $600 fine.The cocaine charge was formally dropped due to a lack of evidence.But the fact he avoided a conviction is significant and means he can not only travel with the Reds to play overseas matches, but he can also play in France or Japan – countries which deny entry to convicted drug users.With the Queensland Rugby Union having lost all faith in Hunt after his second major off-field indiscretion in three years, a shift abroad is firming as a likely outcome.However, because he falls a long way short of the 60-cap ‘Giteau law’, any departure from Australian rugby would spell the end of his brief Test career.Hunt showed promise in his five appearances for Australia last year and appeared bound for 2019 World Cup selection.His player profile has seemingly been removed from the Wallabies squad section on rugby.com.au, but is still accessible via an internet search.While he is still contracted to the Reds for another two seasons, the recent recruitment of fullback Aidan Toua indicates coach Brad Thorn is prepared for life without Hunt.UK outlet The Rugby Paper reported interest last week from French Top 14 clubs Bordeaux and Toulouse and English sides Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors.Hunt has already played in Europe, having spent a season with Biarritz Olympique in 2009-10 prior to linking up with the AFL’s Gold Coast Suns.last_img read more

A gem for Kastoria

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Head of Afkos Industries, Paul Afkos, has developed a new luxury hotel in the town of Kastoria that has given a boost to the townsfolk and the tourism industry in Greece.The hotel, Afkos Grammos Luxury Collection Boutique Hotel, is the brainchild of Mr Afkos, who wanted to give back to his place of birth. “It was my duty,” says Mr Afkos. “I wanted the hotel to open early to provide immediate assistance to those people who need work.” The 60-year-old invested 28 million US dollars in a 109-bed hotel in Kastoria and the development gave 25 families in the area work. “This is the kind of help that the Greeks of Australia can give,” says Mr Afkos.The official launch of the hotel will take place on May 26 this year, and Mr Afkos has invited 168 Kastorians of the diaspora to take part. He has also invited prominent Western Australian politicians such as Deputy Premier Dr Kim Hames and former mayor Dr Peter Nattrass.The hotel, located in the village of Nestoria, overlooks the scenic Aliakmonas River and Grammos Mountains and is just ten minutes from the city. The hotel offers 4-star accommodation including an a la carte restaurant and two cafes. Mr Afkos was 12 years old when he migrated to Australia from Kastoria but has never forgotten his roots. He migrated to Western Australia where he has become a successful businessman and philanthropist.He received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2003 and the Prime Minister’s Centenary of Federation Medal in 2001 for services to the business community, the Hellenic community of Western Australia and services to the sport of soccer in Australia. In 1991, Mr Afkos co-founded the A-League side Perth Glory and was deputy chairman, director and shareholder until 2003.last_img read more