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Southland rugby player admits drug problem

A 2013 Southland Stags rugby player who forged a doctor's signature to obtain medication has admitted he has a drug problem.

Tukiterangi Jahna Raimona. Source: Photosport

Tukiterangi Jahna Raimona, 22, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Invercargill District Court yesterday and admitted a charge of dishonestly obtaining a document, namely a prescription form, with intent to obtain a pecuniary advantage on February 18.

He was remanded on bail to April 11 for sentence.

The interim name suppression order was discharged.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Mills told the court Raimona presented a prescription form at an Invercargill pharmacy for triazolam 60 tablets, diazepam 60 tablets and oxynorm 40 tablets.

Inquiries were made by the pharmacy and issuing doctor because of the controlled nature of the drugs.

The inquiry established the prescription had not been issued and had been forged, Mr Mills said.

The medication was not issued and Raimona left the pharmacy.

When spoken to by police Raimona admitted the offending.

He told police he obtained the blank form when visiting a doctor he knew.

The doctor had refused to prescribe the medication so Raimona forged the document and doctor's signature, he said.

Raimona's lawyer Simon Claver told the court his client accepted full responsibility for his actions and accepted he had a drug problem.

He was taking steps to deal with the issue, Mr Claver said.

Raimona, a prop forward, played 10 games for Southland in 2012 and 2013 and represented New Zealand at the under-20 world championships in South Africa in 2012.

Rugby Southland general manager Brian Hopley, speaking after the court hearing, said Raimona came off contract with the organisation at the end of the 2013 season and was not offered a contract extension.

Hopley did not want to speculate whether the charge would affect Raimona's chances of gaining a contract in the future.

''I probably can't answer that at this stage, we'll have to have a good look at it.'

FACTBOX:

Triazolam is used to treat insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). MedlinePlus

Diazepam is used to teat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms or muscle spasms. Drugs.com

Oxynorm is a pain reliever. netdoctor