Pubdate: Sun, May 30 1999
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Author: Jack Grimston


The flurry of drug allegations against Lawrence Dallaglio has continued,
with newspaper reports that he acted as a schoolboy drugs courier. The new
allegations will add to the pressure on the former England rugby captain as
he prepares to face Rugby Union officials investigating his conduct. He is
also accused of regularly taking drugs while a rising rugby star in the
early 1990s.

According to the News of the World, a former schoolmate of Dallaglio at
Ampleforth College, the Roman Catholic school in Yorkshire, alleged that
Dallaglio had ferried drugs around the school, collected money from pupils
buying cannabis and regularly smoked the drug at the age of 16 while
studying for his A-levels.

According to the former pupil, he and another boy recruited Dallaglio into a
drug-dealing ring at the UKP14,000 per year school. He would collect money
from all the boys in his house who wanted to buy drugs, sometimes amounting
to hundreds of pounds. He would then go to the dealer's room and smoke
cannabis before taking blocks of the drug to the boys who had paid for it.

On one occasion, they are said to have bought drugs in a wine bar in York.
Another time, the 6ft 4in Dallaglio is said to have acted as the dealers'
minder. Apart from regularly smoking cannabis, Dallaglio is said to have
snorted cocaine while at the school.

The boy making the allegations was expelled from Ampleforth in 1990 and
admitted to magistrates that he had dealt in drugs.

Other reports quote a rugby official saying that a third of players in last
year's rugby sevens tournament in Amsterdam - in which Dallaglio
participated - were taking drugs, including marijuana and magic mushrooms.
He said that players sometimes pulled out joints straight after games and
openly smoked them at the ground. Then they would go out, take more drugs
and seek out prostitutes.

The 1999 tournament is being played in Amsterdam this weekend.

Allegations talk of Dallaglio taking drugs in the early 1990s. A man
described as a close friend of his in the period described how the two men
frequently took drugs at nightclubs. The man alleged that Dallaglio used to
take up to five ecstasy tablets in a single evening and snort cocaine. He is
once said to have taken drugs for three days at an outdoor music festival.
At the time, he was already a member of the Wasps second team. He is said to
have hung upside-down from an iron bar to boost the "high" he got from
taking ecstasy tablets.

According to other reports, the disgraced former captain plans to tell Rugby
Union officials of his suspicion that there might have been drugs in the
champagne he was drinking when he made the "confessions" to undercover News
of the World reporters which led to his downfall. He found it suspicious
that the bottle was not opened in front of him. Phil Hall, editor of the
News of the World, last night described the claims as "wonderful" and said:
"I look forward to refuting them."

Representatives of Dallaglio are said to have been in touch with Sir John
Hall, whose son Douglas and Freddy

Shepherd, then fellow directors of Newcastle United, resigned from the club
after their own "confessions" to undercover reporters. Hall suspects that
they might also have drunk drugged champagne.

Dallaglio, 26, stepped down last week after allegations that he had dealt in
drugs and taken cocaine and ecstasy during a British Lions tour. He admitted
experimenting with drugs as a young man but said he had been duped into
making untrue "confessions" by undercover reporters from the News of the World.

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