CHAMPION cyclist Jack Bobridge has been jailed in Western Australia for four years and six months for drug supply offences, with the judge saying the Olympian’s dramatic fall from grace was an “absolute tragedy”.
The Adelaide-born father-of-one maintains his innocence but a WA District Court jury found him guilty of supplying hundreds of ecstasy tablets in 2017 to former professional cyclist Alex McGregor.
Defence counsel Sam Vandongen said his client had indulged in alcohol and drugs while enjoying celebrity status in Europe and it was remarkable he had been able to train.
“They are treated as superstars,” Mr Vandongen said on Friday.
“It attracts certain people to you and brings temptations.”
Judge Stephen Scott said it was a common story for young people in the spotlight, particularly sports stars.
“He fell into partying and drugs and alcohol,” Judge Scott said.
Prosecutor Joel Grinceri noted Bobridge had given evidence he had been a heavy drug user for some time, with cocaine being his substance of choice because it left the body quicker than others, allowing him to avoid detection by the sport’s testing regime.
After his cycling career ended, Bobridge filed for bankruptcy, lost an interest in a gym and had to work as a bricklayer to pay his debts.
Judge Scott sentenced the Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist for supplying 301 ecstasy tablets, although McGregor claimed he had provided more.
The judge said he was satisfied Bobridge had done so due to evidence about other “uncharged acts”, so he had clearly played a “prolific role” in drug supply.
His dependency was no excuse, Judge Scott said.
“You’ve been an outstanding athlete,” he said.
“This is an absolute tragedy.”
Bobridge, who has been declared a drug trafficker, will be eligible for parole after serving two years and six months behind bars.
He blew a kiss to the public gallery as he was led away.