Former AFL great Wayne Carey has broken his silence after he was allegedly caught with a bag of white powder at a casino.
The 51-year-old fronted the media outside the Wagga Wagga RSL in regional NSW on Thursday evening where he took only a few questions from waiting journalists.
“I want a thorough police investigation. Thorough. I applaud it. I want it,” he said.
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“What I will say is that nothing illegal has occurred here.
“I will say this: that on two occasions they (Crown staff) had an opportunity to call the police. If what was alleged had happened, then the police would have been called straight away.
“They then had another opportunity, when I went up to my room, to call the police and they never called the police.
“I want to know why. Because if they had called the police, I wouldn’t be here standing here talking to you about this.”
Carey was in Wagga to speak at a men’s mental health event hosted by The Good Blokes Society, which describes itself as a community to help men develop social and business relationships.
A week earlier, Carey was escorted out of Crown Perth when a small bag containing a powdered substance fell out of his pocket.
The dual-premiership captain at North Melbourne has denied the substance in the bag was illegal, saying the powder was “crushed up anti-inflammatories” used to treat football injuries.
Police are investigating, but Carey has not been charged with any crime.
Carey previously said he had offered to hand the bag to staff after dropping it at a gaming table at Crown in Burswood last Thursday night.
But Crown Resorts chief executive Ciaran Carruthers has said Carey’s version of events contradicts that of casino staff.
“That’s in contradiction to the statements that we’ve received from our own staff and from witnesses who were there at the time,” Mr Carruthers told 6PR radio on Thursday.
Mr Carruthers, who is in his first week on the job, gave the interview a few hours before Mr Carey was due to speak at the Wagga RSL.
Mr Carruthers said casino staff and witnesses claimed Carey did not offer the bag of powder to security after it fell onto a gaming table.
He said Carey told also told staff that he was not a guest at the hotel, which turned out to be false.
“Our team then approached him in his room and advised him that he needed to vacate. He co-operated, he asked for some time to collect his belongings, which we gave him, he then removed himself from the property,” he said.
Mr Carruthers conceded that police should have been called.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said on Wednesday Carey had retained lawyer Josh Bornstein to investigate a possible disability discrimination claim against Perth’s Crown Casino.
Mr Carruthers denied any suggestion of “disability discrimination”.
“There was no discrimination. We could not have been aware, even if it were true, that there was an issue with his health,” he said.
“We dealt with this as we would deal with any notification of suspicious activity on the property.”
According to his lawyer, Carey is prescribed anti-inflammatories and painkilling medicine to help manage significant pain caused by debilitating football injuries.
His injuries include a shoulder that needs replacing and a neck injury that requires three discs to be replaced, his lawyer said.
“We are considering whether Crown Casino unlawfully discriminated against Mr Carey by excluding him from its premises as a result of a pre-existing disability,” Mr Bornstein said.
The lawyer said his client was “distressed” by the casino’s actions that resulted in media attention and led the public to wrongly assume the bag contained an illegal drug.
More to come