ASADA has applauded the NRL for handing Sandor Earl a four-year suspension for breaching the league’s anti-doping policy, with the authority suggesting the winger had not been entirely forthcoming in his attempt to gain a reduced penalty.
The NRL announced on Wednesday the former Canberra, Penrith and Sydney Roosters player was guilty of six violations, including use and possession of growth hormone CJC-1295.
After a five-hour hearing in front of the NRL’s anti-doping tribunal last month, the league also found Earl was trafficking, or attempting to move, a number of other performance-enhancing drugs.
The 26-year-old’s ban is backdated to when he was stood down by the NRL on 29 August, 2013 and he has 21 days to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Otherwise, Earl won’t be free to play until 29 August, 2017.
ASADA chief Ben McDevitt said any athlete was responsible for any substances used to aid their recovery from injury.
“So it is extremely important for athletes to take every precaution necessary to ensure they do not breach the anti-doping rules,” he said on Wednesday in a statement.
McDevitt also suggested Earl hadn’t been completely forthcoming in his bid for a discounted penalty.
“If you are going to seek a reduction in an anti-doping sanction by providing ‘Substantial Assistance’, you must be willing to be entirely truthful, full and frank in relation to your own and other people’s violations.
“I would like to thank the NRL and ASADA for pursuing this matter since it came to light in 2013. It is a positive outcome for clean sport.”
NRL head of integrity Nick Weeks said the league was committed to eliminating performance-enhancing drugs.
“We want our game to provide a fair and safe environment for players and that means taking all reasonable steps to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from rugby league,” he said.
Earl pleaded last month with the anti-doping tribunal – chaired by former High Court judge Ian Callinan – to be allowed to revive his career next season after he was stood down from playing while at the Raiders in 2013, following his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs to treat a shoulder injury.
The charges against Earl relate to when he was at the Panthers in 2011.
The speedster is the only NRL player to appear before an anti-doping hearing over allegations arising from the 18-month ASADA investigation.
He’s played 48 games in the NRL with the bulk of those coming with Canberra after making his debut at the Roosters where he had three games in the top grade before linking with Penrith.
OFFENCES EARL WAS FOUND TO HAVE COMMITTED BY NRL ANTI-DOPING TRIBUNAL:
* Use of CJC-1295 (eight violations)
* Possession of CJC-1295
* Trafficking in Somatropin
* Trafficking in Clenbuterol
* Attempted trafficking in SARMS
* Attempted trafficking in Testosterone