Rugby league star Houston accused of drug dealing  

March 1, 2010 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT) 



Newcastle forward Chris Houston will appear in court after being accused of supplying ecstasy and cocaine. 





(CNN) -- An Australian rugby league player has been charged with dealing drugs just three months after his teammate was served a court notice for the same offence.


Chris Houston, who plays for Newcastle Knights in the National Rugby League competition, has been charged with supplying ecstasy and cocaine according to reports in Australian newspapers on Monday. 


The 25-year-old second-row forward will appear in court next month, and has been suspended by his club. 


"Newcastle Knights player Chris Houston has been stood down immediately and indefinitely following reports he was charged this afternoon on drug-related allegations," a Knights statement said on Monday. 


Houston's teammate Danny Wicks was charged with six counts of supplying prohibited drugs and two counts of drug possession in December.


Wicks' younger brother and his sister-in-law have also been charged as part of a police investigation into drugs suppliers, along with soccer player Steven Stefanovski. 


Wicks and Houston both moved to Newcastle from Sydney club St George Illawarra at the end of 2007.


Wicks agreed to cancel his $180,000-a-year contract in December, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, while Houston is contracted to the Knights until 2012. 


It is the second year in a row that the sport has been hit by controversy ahead of a new season, which begins in two weeks. 


Last year, Manly and Australia fullback Brett Stewart had to be removed from NRL advertisements following allegations of sexual assault. 


Former Newcastle and Australia star Andrew Johns also made headlines after his retirement in 2007 when he was caught in possession of ecstasy in Britain, and later admitted he had been a regular user of the drug during his career.