Michael Katsidis (centre) arrives at Southport Court with lawyer Chris Hannay and barrister Wayne Tolton. Picture Glenn Hampson
Michael Katsidis (centre) arrives at Southport Court with lawyer Chris Hannay and barrister Wayne Tolton. Picture Glenn Hampson

Why former boxer asked for urine sample from mates

TROUBLED former boxing champion Michael Katsidis asked two mates to provide clean urine samples in an "ambitious" plan to clear his name of driving while on ice, a court was told.

Only one mate, Benjamin Kalcina, a former high level rugby league player, agreed to pretend to be Katsidis for the urine sample.

The ploy did not work with Kalcina's sample testing positive for cannabis.

The failed scheme was described as "foolhardy", "destined for failure" and "not going to go anywhere" by Katsidis' own lawyer.

Katsidis, 38, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court today to two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and one count of obtaining identification information.

Kalcina, 35, pleaded guilty to attempted fraud, forgery and uttering a forged document.

Benjamin Kalcina leaving Southport Courthouse. Picture: Lea Emery
Benjamin Kalcina leaving Southport Courthouse. Picture: Lea Emery


Judge Catherine Muir sentenced Katsidis to 18 months prison with immediate release on parole.

"This was a stupid plan that was always doomed to fail but it is serious criminal offending," she said.

Judge Muir sentenced Kalcina to four months prison which was wholly suspended for an operational period of one year.

"I don't expect to see you in court again," she said.

Crown prosecutor Michael Mitchell said the scheme started when Katsidis tested positive for the drug ice during a roadside test on October 15, 2017.

In an attempt to clear his name, Katsidis asked a friend to provide a urine sample.

Katsidis hoped to fool authorities the urine sample was from him and clear his name of drug driving.

The friend refused and Katsidis turned to Kalcina.

Michael Katsidis arrives at Southport Court. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Michael Katsidis arrives at Southport Court. Picture: Glenn Hampson

Mr Mitchell said Kalcina gave Katsidis a passport photo of himself.

That photo was used to create a driver's licence in Katsidis' name but with Kalcina's photograph.

Mr Mitchell said Kalcina then used to the licence to give a urine sample at the Southport Medical and Dental Clinic.

"The scheme did not work because, the urine sample, whilst negative for meth amphetamine, it was positive for cannabis," he said.

Katsidis' barrister Wayne Tolton, instructed by Hannay Lawyers, described the plan as "foolhardy".

"It was always destined for failure," he said.

"It was a plan that wasn't going to go anywhere."

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Mr Tolton said Katsidis was so well-known on the Gold Coast from his boxing career it was unlikely anyone in the city would not recognise him.

He said Katsidis has spiralled into depression after the death of his brother and tried to self-medicate with illicit substances.

Mr Tolton said despite Katsidis earning millions in the United States boxing he was now struggling.

Mr Tolton and Hannay Lawyers principal Chris Hannay both acted pro bono in the matter.

Kalcina's lawyer Michael McMillan, of McMillan Criminal Law, said his client, who played for West Tigers and South Sydney, "idolised" Katsidis.

"The relationship with Katsidis was a strong one, based on sport," he said.

"My client idolised Katsidis."

Mr McMillan said Kalcina put little thought into the ploy.

"He was always going to provide a positive specimen... he expressed a concern (to Katsidis) that if he did provide a specimen it was going to be positive for cannabis," he said.

Mr McMillan said Kalcina, a carpenter, had his rugby league career cut short due to an ankle injury.