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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Footballer admits cocaine charge
Richie Hart
Hart was fined 300 at Inverness Sheriff Court
A Scottish Premier League player has been convicted of having cocaine at a music festival in the Highlands.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle player Richie Hart, 29, has also been suspended from playing or training by his club until further notice.

Police officers thought Hart was acting suspiciously in his BMW car and found cocaine placed on a CD at the Rock Ness Festival in June.

He admitted a charge of possessing cocaine and was fined 300.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard the midfielder had bought two half-grams of the drug for 80 and was in the process of using one of the wraps when caught.

The club adopts a very firm stance in relation to the use and/or possession of drugs
Inverness Caledonian Thistle statement

Police found the other wrap of the drug after a search of his car.

Hart's solicitor David Hingston told the court the footballer was not a habitual drug taker - this was the first and only time he had been involved.

Mr Hingston also said the incident had brought shame on the player.

In a statement, the SPL club said: "When the matter was originally brought to our attention, the club interviewed the player and given his responses agreed to leave the matter until the allegations were addressed in court.

"The club would like to reassure the club's commercial partners, supporters and the public that the club adopts a very firm stance in relation to the use and/or possession of drugs."

Caley Thistle said it will deal with the matter internally and make no further comment until the issue had been resolved.

Hart joined Caley Thistle in 2002 from Highland League team Brora Rangers, having previously played for Ross County.

SEE ALSO
SPL footballer denies drugs claim
09 Aug 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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