Former Olympic athlete had amphetamine in his car

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A FORMER Mr Universe who has previously competed in the Olympics has been convicted of possessing amphetamine.

Aircraft shift worker David Wyn Griffiths, 44, told a court he was totally against drugs.

As a world class athlete, he had never tested positive for drugs over the years and he said he would never take them.

He claimed a bag of amphetamine found in his vehicle, when he was stopped in Mold after it was seen weaving about in the road, was in fact a body-building supplement provided by his coach.

He feared that his coach had unwittingly been sold some which had been adulterated, the court was told.

Griffiths, of Denbigh Road, Mold, denied possessing amphetamine and careless driving on November 11 last year.

He said that he had stopped in the Aldi car park for some ice-cream.

It was as he was driving home that he was stopped, and he did not know why.

Prosecutor John Wylde told the court that Griffiths had told police at the time that the bag seized from his Volvo car was amphetamine.

He told police that he had bought it for £100 to keep him awake.

He was tired after working shifts and driving to Anglesey where he was doing a house up for his mother.

But Griffiths said that at the time he was in a panic and only made the comments because he wanted to protect his coach, who was a household name in the coaching and rugby world.

He had treated him like a son and he said the least he could do was to take the blame himself if it turned out that there was something wrong.

Griffiths was convicted of both offences at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court in Mold, however.

Magistrates said that Griffith had told police when stopped that the substance in his bag was amphetamine, and followed that up four hours later in interview with further detailed admissions. His evidence was not credible, they said.

His claim to have stopped in to the supermarket car park to have ice-cream on a cold winter’s day, so close to home, supported their conclusion that his story was not believable.

The careless driving charge was proved because an experienced officer, acting on a report from a member of the public, saw him weaving from side to side and when he parked up it was with one wheel on the pavement, they said.

Griffiths was fined £350 for possessing amphetamine and £350 for careless driving, with £600 costs.

He was also banned from driving for six months under the totting up procedure.
In evidence, Griffith told magistrates that he was a world class athlete, who had been a gymnast and competed in three Commonwealth Games and in the 1984 Olympics.

He had competed in body-building competitions and had been Mr Universe on one occasion.

In November, he was on a ‘ketogenic’ diet for body-building purposes and the supplements he took were part of that.

Asked why the drug was in a plastic bag rather than a tub, he said his coach was very experienced and blended it himself.

He was flabbergasted and horrified to think that there was amphetamine in the mixture, he said.

Griffiths denied that he had powder on his face when stopped by police, or that he had been weaving in the road from High Street through Pwllglas to Dreflan.

Huw Roberts, defending, said that the defendant was clearly a world class athlete who honestly believed that he had been doing nothing wrong when, as part of the ‘ketogenic’ diet, he took the supplements provided by a trusted coach.

Magistrates heard that the defendant had originally been charged with driving the car while under the influence of drugs. But that charge had been dropped because of a clash of expert evidence.

The prosecution expert said that there was amphetamine in his blood sample, while the defence expert said that there was not.

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