James O'Connor cops penalty after drug bust
TROUBLE-PRONE former Wallaby James O'Connor has escaped major sanction but must attend behavioural awareness training after French rugby officials finalised his punishment for a cocaine bust in Paris earlier this year.
The Ligue Nationale de Rugby has handed down its decision on sanctions for O'Connor and his friend and former All Black Ali Williams, after they were arrested by police in a drugs sting at a Parisian nightclub near the Arc de Triomphe in February.
Williams, 35, who was alleged to have bought a small amount of cocaine from dealers outside L'arc nightclub, was fined 1500 euros ($2000).
He was earlier sacked by his club Racing 92.
O'Connor, who was fined by police for using cocaine, not for buying or possessing it, was not fined by the league, but instead ordered to attend behavioural awareness programs alongside Williams.
The 26-year-old was suspended by his club, Toulon, after the arrest, but is now playing again. His contract expires shortly and his future is not clear, although it is widely reported that his contract will not be renewed.
As he left the disciplinary hearing a week ago, O'Connor told waiting media: "I have given all the evidence, and I think they will understand that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so yes, I'm sure it will work out."