The National Rugby League is investigating new claims surrounding the drug overdose involving two South Sydney players.

There are reports police found caffeine energy drinks and alcohol in the property and the case has triggered new concerns about the use of prescription drugs in sport.

Eleanor Grounds reports.


South Sydney Rabbitohs players Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were rushed to Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital early yesterday morning after what was described as an adverse reaction to painkillers.

They were in a critical condition but have now improved.

John Lee, South Sydney Rabbitohs CEO: “Their condition has improved markedly, they’re alert, they’re communicating and I understand that they’ll even be eating this morning.”

The pair had been prescribed the drugs after post-season surgery last week, Walker for his left hand, and Gray his right knee.

One of the the pain killers they were taking was Oxycodone often described as “hillbilly heroin” for its powerful narcotic effect.

Police searched Gray’s Roseberry home and there are reports of caffeinated energy drinks and alcohol as well.

Experts say that combination of drugs and drinks can have the effect of producing a euphoric but dangerous high.

NRL players both past and present say prescription drug abuse is a massive issue in rugby league.

Benji Marshall, Dragons halfback: “I’ve seen it in club teams and I’ve seen it in rep teams, people taking prescription drugs recreationally. It’s fine to take them to ease pain or if you’ve had operations, but actually recreationally, sometimes instead of drinking.”

The NRL is still waiting on the results of a toxicology report.

Eleanor Grounds, QUT News.