Penrith Panthers centre Brent Naden has been provisionally suspended under the NRL’s anti-doping policy, after an A-sample returned a positive result for metabolites of cocaine.
The test was conducted by Sport Integrity Australia after the 2020 NRL grand final, which Penrith lost to Melbourne.
Cocaine is an in-competition prohibited substance under the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) code and the NRL’s anti-doping policy.
His B-sample is currently being analysed and he will be banned from participating in any WADA-compliant sport, including the NRL, while suspended.
Penrith’s official statement is as follows.
“[The] Penrith Panthers acknowledge the provisional suspension handed down to player Brent Naden after he returned a positive test for a recreational drug.
“As previously reported, Brent approached the club following the 2020 NRL grand final to seek help with a number of personal issues. At the 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.”