Former Olympian cyclist Jack Bobridge has been sentenced to more than four years in prison after being found guilty of selling drugs.
The Australian was convicted on four charges of supplying ecstasy pills to a friend in Perth between March and August 2017, having retired as a pro the year before.
The 29-year-old was sentenced to four years and six months and will be eligible for parole after he has served two years and six months.
Bobridge had sold the ecstasy to his friend, fellow former professional cyclist Alex McGregor, who then sold them on to an undercover police officer operating in bars and nightclubs in Perth. Bobridge denied the four charges against him, claiming McGregor had supplied him with the ecstasy for his own personal use.
The judge told Bobridge that his situation was an “absolute tragedy” but said this wasn’t an excuse for supplying them to others. Bobridge’s lawyer said his client had suffered a “dramatic fall from grace” adding his career as a cyclist had been heavily affected by rheumatoid arthritis, with Bobridge saying he used drugs to deal with the condition.
McGregor said he had been drinking with Bobridge in the early hours one night in March 2017 when the pair made a “deal” that McGregor would sell ecstasy pills supplied by Bobridge to people he knew in the clubbing scene in Perth.
Over the next few months McGregor would go to Bobridge’s cycling studio and pick up bags of pills, eventually dealing in such quantities that it was easier to communicate using “cycling code” on a messenger app.
McGregor then unknowingly sold 10 pills to an undercover policeman in a Perth bar, paying $300 for the drugs and then stayed in contact with McGregor, purchasing pills three more times over the next three months.
During the trial, which resulted in the jury returning a guilty verdict after three hours, Bobridge gave a detailed testimony of how he took recreational drugs throughout his entire professional career.
The two-time national road race champion said he began taking cocaine and ecstasy after he won a professional contract with Garmin-Transitions in 2010, where the rider admitted he lived a “fantastic lifestyle” partying and training in Europe. Bobridge said that at the time he couldn’t afford the drugs, but “the people around him – fans – would supply him”.
Bobrdige said he would take cocaine in the days before competing and named two of his Australian team-mates in court who also did. He retired after winning a silver medal in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, having also won silver at the London 2012 Games.
Soon after his retirement Bobridge’s marriage broke down, which the Australian said led to more drinking and drugs, with ecstasy being a cheap option for partying in order to escape his problems.
Alex McGregor was given an 18-month prison term, part of which was suspended, after pleading guilty to eight charges including drug dealing last July.