The hits keep coming for Sam Burgess, with authorities confirming a formal investigation into claims involving the South Sydney Rabbitohs’ chief physician and the former rugby league star.
The Australian newspaper last year published allegations that longtime club medico Dr. Andrew McDonald had prescribed a liquid sedative to calm Burgess, 32, in November 2018 after wild partying.
But the article, recently brought to court, claimed that Dr. McDonald actually prepared the Diazepam recipe in the name of football star Mitchell Hooke’s father-in-law.
The extraordinary allegations caught the attention of the state’s Health Care Complaints Commission, which began an initial 60-day investigation into the allegations last October.
Daily Mail Australia may reveal that the medical watchdog is now in a full, formal investigation into the allegations in the article.
More woes from Sam Burgess: The now-retired soccer player is pictured (head) with Souths club doctor Andrew McDonald (right). Allegations related to a Dr. McDonald for Burgess are under investigation by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission
Sam Burgess has been in the media since his marriage to wife Phoebe broke up (top right)
“Yes, the Commission has opened a formal investigation,” said Executive Officer Louise Robinson.
Ms. Robinson said the investigation was ‘in full swing’ and the average probe takes about eight months.
“In order to preserve the integrity of the Commission’s investigation process, we are unable to disclose any further specific details at this time.”
Dr. McDonald declined to comment through a representative from his sports medical clinic in east Sydney.
Questions were asked of South Sydney, the club where he worked as a chief physician for 25 years.
The Australian’s article also made separate claims about another unnamed doctor who gave Burgess a blood test in an underground parking garage.
Dr. McDonald is a respected sports physician who has worked with the South Sydney Rabbitohs since 1996. Above with UFC star Robert Whittaker
The revelation of the formal investigation comes a day after Burgess reportedly tested positive for cocaine during a roadside test on Monday.
Police will allege that Burgess, 32, was driving an unregistered car at the time, a BMX X5. Obviously he was on his way to pick up his kids.
A source close to Burgess told Daily Mail Australia he had no intention of being near where he was detained – in the state’s southern highlands – until plans to pick up the children were changed.
The retired soccer player and TV star also had no idea that the registration of his black BMW X5 had been suspended after he failed to pay $ 1,200 in parking and traffic fines. The case will be taken to court in May.
Intriguingly, the medical watchdog’s investigation might never have happened without Burgess’s ex-wife Phoebe and her father Mitchell Hooke who teamed up with The Australian.
The Australian’s article was put out to trial in court last year at a hearing where Burgess was found guilty of intimidating Phoebe’s father on their Bowral estate.
At a November hearing, Phoebe admitted to giving the newspaper damaging documents about Sam that were used in the report.
Both Phoebe Burgess and her father Mitchell Hooke took part in The Australian’s exposition of the allegations about Sam last year
In January, Burgess was found guilty two years ago of intimidating his father on the Hooke family estate in the Southern Highlands. He will appeal the charges
Meanwhile, the newspaper itself described an on-the-record interview with Mr. Hooke.
In that interview, Mr. Hooke claimed that Dr. McDonald ‘began writing a script’ after talking to him about the condition of his then-son-in-law.
Mr. Hooke remembered getting the prescription. ‘I looked at it and said,’ What’s the script for? ‘He said,’ Liquid Valium ‘.
Mr. Hooke claimed he said, “This is in my name,” claiming that Dr. McDonald said yes.
Dr. Hooke claimed he questioned the decision, but “had no alternative.
“Even my vague knowledge of the law knows that’s wrong, but I had a doctor who told me there was no other way,” Mr. Hooke said, the official said.
The newspaper also produced an alleged report of the recipe in its article. Phoebe Burgess claimed that Dr. McDonald administered the drug.
The allegations regarding Dr. McDonald will be tested during the investigation.
He returned to work with the Rabbitohs after the revelations of an initial watchdog investigation last year.