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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Geelong's Matthew Stokes appeared in court on April 26 to face charges of drug possession and trafficking. He and his lawyers worked out a plea bargain in which Stokes pleaded guilty to one count of possession in exchange for having the trafficking charge dropped. Had he been convicted, he could have faced time in prison, which would have virtually ended his footy career.

Stokes, who was arrested in February during a wide police sweep of drug dealers, earlier admitted he bought one gram of cocaine for a friend. He must pay a $3000 fine and will be on probation for one year. He is still under a club suspension until Round Eight and has been playing in the VFL for the past two weeks.

Geelong CEO Brian Cook was a character witness at the trial and praised Stokes for the way he had conducted himself since the arrest. Club officials have also stated that they are confident that Stokes is not a drug user. However, it is still up to the AFL to determine whether or not Stokes will face any sort of sanctions under the league's drug policy.

Source: theage.com.au, afl.com.au

Article last changed on Monday, May 03, 2010 - 4:17 AM EDT


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