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Cousins' career in limbo after drug charges -

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TONY EASTLEY: The footballing career of West Coast Eagles star, Ben Cousins, hangs in the balance
after he was charged with drug possession last night.

The former captain and Brownlow medallist was arrested in Perth after police saw him driving
erratically and pulled him over.

It's the latest chapter in a career that's been blighted by Cousins' off-field behaviour.

Earlier this year, the 29-year-old went into drug rehabilitation and apologised publicly to his
fans, for letting them down.

From Perth, David Weber reports.

DAVID WEBER: Cousins sat in the back of his four wheel drive as police searched the vehicle. The
search went on for over an hour. Police with latex gloves took several items out of the car and
bagged them before Cousins was taken away.

He was later charged with one count of possessing a prohibited drug. He was also charged with
failing to comply with a requirement to undergo a driver assessment. It's only six months since
Cousins went to a rehabilitation clinic in the United States for drug use after being suspended
from the Eagles.

This is what West Coast chief executive, Trevor Nisbett, said about his playing future at the time.

TREVOR NISBETT: It could be months, it might be next year. We're still not certain on dates and our
only interest is in Ben's health at the present stage as it has been all along with his episodes.
There's no doubt that the AFL will have very stringent clauses as to what Ben can do.

DAVID WEBER: After Cousins returned to Perth, he recorded an apology, which was broadcast on
television. He didn't mention drugs because Cousins had legal advice that he could have been
charged if he did.

BEN COUSINS: I apologised to the West Coast Eagles Football Club, sponsors, the AFL and the
community for my actions. I am sorry that I have disappointed many people who have supported me in
the past.

FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: Here it is, a standing ovation for Ben Cousins.

DAVID WEBER: Ben Cousins made a triumphant return to football in July with the strong support of
Eagles fans.

FOOTBALL COMMENTATOR: But after 15 weeks of absence, Ben is back.

DAVID WEBER: It appeared he'd finally got over a string of off-field incidents which included a
$900 fine for running from a booze bus but then just over two weeks ago, tragedy struck.

Cousins has made no public comments since the death of his friend, former Eagle, Chris Mainwaring.
Mainwaring died of a heart attack early in the morning of October 1st.

Shortly before his death, the 41-year-old had apparently told paramedics that he'd taken ecstasy
and used cannabis.

Cousins was one of the last people to see him alive. The West Coast Eagles Club says that Cousins
visited his friend twice on the night he died taking food and checking on him.

Mainwaring's father has said he's certain pathology tests would show that his son had taken drugs
in the hours before his death.

TONY EASTLEY: David Weber reporting.