Irish league team begins internal review over player Mark Clarke's drug charges
An Irish League team has begun an internal review after a player was charged with possessing cocaine and 'magic mushrooms'.
Mark Clarke (27), of Springfield Road, Belfast, who started this season with Carrick Rangers, had his case mentioned at Antrim Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
He faces six charges including possessing Class A cocaine and another Class A substance - Psilocybin, commonly known as 'magic mushrooms'.
The offences are alleged to have been committed on Tuesday November 3, 2015.
On the same date Clarke is also charged with possessing Class B herbal cannabis.
He faces three more charges of fraudulently importing cocaine, Psilocybin and herbal cannabis on the same date.
Clarke was present in the court building on Tuesday for his first appearance in connection with the charges but was not in the actual court room when the case was mentioned.
His defence solicitor asked for the case to be adjourned to take instructions in the case.
No details surrounding the alleged offences were outlined to the court.
Clarke formerly played for Cliftonville and Glentoran and at the time of the alleged offences was on the books of Warrenpoint Town.
After the alleged offences in November last year he was still playing for Warrenpoint.
He signed for Carrick Rangers this season and has played for them this term and is listed on the club's website as a member of their first team squad.
Now, Carrick Rangers FC have issued a statement on their website.
It says: "Carrick Rangers FC have commenced an internal review following revelations that were made in the press today in relation to Mark Clarke.
"Mark Clarke has not played or trained with Carrick Rangers since suffering an injury at his place of work in September 2016.
"The Board of Carrick Rangers FC would like to make clear that we do not condone any actions that tarnish our reputation or that bring Irish League football into disrepute.
"While the club's investigation is ongoing, we will make no further comment on this matter."