Star provisionally suspended after positive test

Penrith Panthers star Brent Naden has been provisionally suspended by the NRL after he returned a positive test for a recreational drug.

Naden was tested by Sport Integrity Australia following the NRL Grand Final on October 25 and returned a positive A-sample for metabolites of cocaine.

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The NRL confirmed his provisional suspension in a statement with the Panthers also releasing a statement shortly after the news came to light.

“The National Rugby League has today provisionally suspended Penrith Panthers player Brent Naden under the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy,” the NRL statement read.

“The mandatory Provisional Suspension Notice asserts that Mr Naden returned a positive A-sample for metabolites of cocaine following a test conducted by Sport Integrity Australia after the Grand Final match on 25 October 2020. Cocaine is prohibited In-Competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy.

“Mr Naden is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant sport, including rugby league, while the provisional suspension is in place.

“Under the Anti-Doping Policy, Mr Naden now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed. The NRL has spoken with Mr Naden and advised him of the support services available to him.”

Naden has been provisionally suspended.Source:Getty Images

Naden last month was voluntarily admitted into a rehab facility to deal with a reported issue with alcohol.

The Panthers released a statement to confirm Naden has reached out to club officials to seek help for “personal issues”.

The club has not divulged the exact nature of Naden’s issues, however, The Daily Telegraph first reported Naden was admitted to the private hospital facility on Sydney’s northern beaches.

The report reveals Naden has been treated at the facility for the past two weeks after entering the rehab facility in the week after the Panthers’ grand final loss to the Storm.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon and stated the star had admitted to the use of a recreational drug.

“Penrith Panthers acknowledges the provisional suspension handed down to player Brent Naden after he returned a positive test for a recreational drug,” the club statement read.

“As previously reported, Brent approached the club following the 2020 NRL Grand Final to seek help with a number of personal issues. At that time he admitted to the use of a recreational drug.

“Panthers informed the NRL of Brent’s admission and with the support of the club, he commenced a voluntary rehabilitation program at a private health facility.

“Brent recently completed that program and continues to address his personal issues with the support of his family and Panthers staff.

“Working closely with Brent through this process, the club believes he has the capacity to overcome his personal issues and realise his potential.

“Panthers will continue to provide Brent and his family the support they need moving forward.

“In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, the club, Brent, his family and manager can make no further comment at this time.”

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