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Irish sprinter Leon Reid charged with drug offences in UK

Irish sprinter Leon Reid has been charged with a string of offences in the UK. 

The 26-year old athlete is one of five men to be charged with drugs, firearms and money laundering offences.

Reid was among four of those to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday of last week (March 31). He was charged with "Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), permitting premises to be used in the production of class A (crack cocaine), concealing criminal property, and acquiring criminal property".

Reid, along with co-accused Robert Dent and James Hele were released on court bail.

Along with 29-year old Romaine Hyman (remanded in custody), they will appear at Bristol Crown Court on May 12.

A fifth man, Christopher Barbosa, failed to appear at last week's hearing and a warrant was put out for his arrest.

Police say a further 18 people have been arrested in connection with the case and are currently released under investigation.

They add, "Items including six encrypted phones, a Glock 19 handgun, a carbine conversion kit, a silencer, an extended magazine, ammunition, eight kilos of cocaine, four kilos of crystal MDMA, 3,000 ecstasy tablets, a hydraulic press, and £434,000 (€501,000) cash have been seized during the investigation."

Reid recently represented Ireland at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland in the 60m.

Born in England, Reid won medals for Great Britain at the European Youth Summer Olympic Festival, 2013 European Athletics Junior Championships and 2015 European Athletics U23 Championships.

In 2014, he chose to represent Northern Ireland - the country of his mother's birth - and claimed bronze in the 200m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Reid then set on a protracted effort to switch allegiance again to Ireland, telling OTB Sports in 2017 he was, "getting overlooked even when I was running well" and that it was "an easy decision to switch over".

Of his upbringing, Reid said, "I spent pretty much most of my life in and out of care so I was always growing up with different people, different families. I think it was 14 different foster homes so quite a few."

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