Vatuvei speaks out over prescription drugs saga

New Zealand Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei has spoken out for the first time since him and his club were caught in a scandal involving prescription drugs.

Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Sam Lisone and Albert Vete have since been dropped from the first team and dropped internationally.

They were pictured out after the clubs defeat to Melbourne Storm and they admitted to the Warriors backroom staff that they mixed energy drinks with prescription drugs. 

Vatuvei has since returned to training but he is not currently in the right frame of mind to return to the Warriors first team just yet.

“The one last week was something I’ve been dealing with for a long time. When you bottle up a lot of things in your head for a long time it comes out,” Vatuvei told the club’s official website.

“I think that was my breaking point and I’m working on it now. My body’s ready to play and stuff but my mind’s not there. It’s something that I need to work on now and get right before I come back and play with the team.”

He also added about the embarrassment he caused by his actions as one of the more senior members of the squad.

“We’re all embarrassed with what we did. We know we’ve got standards in our team and that’s something that, as myself being at the club for a long time, it was not something that I love to do. 

“We’ve just got to earn the respect back and the trust back from the team and from the club and all our members. Now I’ve just to put this aside and focus on what I have to do for the team.”

“Hopefully I can play well not just for the club and for the boys but for you guys and my family.” He added in a message to the clubs sponsors and fans.

Some of the players involved, Matulino and Thompson, are ready to return now for the Warriors as they prepare to take on the Penrith Panthers at home on Saturday. Vatuvei is continuing to be monitored by the Warriors medical staff but coach Andrew McFadden hopes he will be back within the next couple of weeks.

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