By Ben Smith (Times Online)
March 03, 2010
Chris Houston, the Newcastle Knights forward, will resign from the club today as he prepares to face charges on four drugs-related offences.
The second-rower was suspended on Monday after he was charged with three counts of supplying ecstasy and another count of supplying cocaine.
Houston had recently signed a new two-year deal at the club to take him through to the end of the 2012 NRL season, but Steve Burraston, the chief executive, has confirmed the 25-year-old will step down. "Chris has indicated to me that he will be resigning from the Knights sometime this afternoon," Burraston said. "He has indicated to me that he'll have further talks with his legal representatives and also his management and will be resigning.
"I've indicated to Chris that we will accept [his resignation], we understand that he's got a huge battle to fight now and his mind just couldn't be around football at that period of time. But we will defend his innocence until he's proven guilty, as the system demands that we do, and we'll let the legal process run its course."
Houston became the second Knights player charged with drug offences in three months after his fellow forward and former house-mate Danny Wicks was arrested in December. But Burraston is confident that there will be no other charges involving players at the club, despite an ongoing police investigation.
"Hopefully there are no more [players involved]. I was hoping there'd be no more after Danny Wicks so I'm not game to say that," he said. "But I think the period of time we're entering into and the [fact that] court cases are only a few weeks away [indicates] that we're probably getting to some finality with this matter.”