Olympic Kayaker Charged with Drug Production
Nathan Baggaley accused of large-scale amphetamine distribution
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Former world champion kayaker Nathan Baggaley appeared in court Monday to plead not guilty to allegations that he manufactured and sold amphetamines as part of a three-person syndicate.
Baggaley, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, was arrested alongside his alleged syndicate partners on Friday. They face six charges, including manufacturing a prohibited drug, supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and conspiring to import drugs, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 37-year-old former Australian Athlete of the Year, who represented Australia in kayaking from 1997 to 2005, has a history in the drug world. In 2009 he was sentenced to nine years in jail for manufacturing and supplying ecstasy pills, though he was released after four years. Last July, Baggaley was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence for possessing 84 ecstasy pills and a pill press.
“I have to try and win people’s trust back,” Baggaley told News Corp Australia last year. “I know it will be a slow process and I know I will cop a lot of flak.”
Court reports say Baggaley turned to drugs after he was suspended from the Australian Canoe Federation in 2005 for testing positive to steroids.
The Monday case was adjourned until December 17, with Baggaley remanded in custody.