O'Connor escapes fine over arrest

by AFP

Former Wallaby James O'Connor has escaped a fine from the French Top 14 disciplinary commission, over his cocaine arrest with New Zealand star Ali Williams.

Williams was fined 1,500 euros ($1600) by the commission when the two fronted the panel.

He was sanctioned for "behaviour damaging the image and reputation of rugby, ethics and sports ethics", the league said in a statement.

Both Williams and O'Connor were ordered to take part in an educational programme for younger players.

The duo were arrested after a police drug bust outside a nightclub near the Champs Elysees in February. They were both fined by police -- Williams for buying cocaine and O'Connor for using it.

The 35-year-old former lock Williams was in the process of being fired by French Top 14 champions Racing 92 and O'Connor, 26, recently returned to Toulon following suspension.

O'Connor hasn't played for Toulon since the incident but has been training with the team, though his long-term future remains up in the air in the final season of his contract.

French media reported this week that O'Connor had been in talks with English club Sale, looking at a potential return to the Premiership after previously playing for London Irish.