Earl still hopeful of NRL return

Two years after his last game, ex-Canberra winger Sandor Earl remains hopeful of a return ahead of his belated NRL anti-doping tribunal hearing.

Earl said he dreamed of being given the opportunity by the NRL to “go out on my terms” despite frustrating negotiations with the league on a hearing date, expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Earl became the first major scalp of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s peptide probe when he was provisionally suspended for using and trafficking banned substances on August 29, 2013.

“If football pops up, it pops up. The motivation I’d have, you can’t buy it,” Earl told ex-NRL player Denan Kemp’s The Locker Room podcast.

“To go back and have a crack and go out on my own terms, it is a dream that lives on.

“I’ll definitely be looking at that as soon as I can get a chance.”

Earl’s hearing was reportedly expected to take place this month but it is believed power brokers thought that may distract from the NRL finals and it looks set to be delayed until September.

The NRL is also reportedly keen to have suspended Sydney Roosters forward Martin Kennedy’s hearing the same week as Earl.

Earl provided evidence to ASADA about his involvement with sports scientist Stephen Dank in a bid to have a potential four-year ban reduced.

ASADA is expected to detail their case against Earl – and why they have not as yet provided him a discount for assistance – at the tribunal hearing.

“I’ve obviously bit my tongue for two years now hoping me being quiet and polite about the situation towards the NRL would help me in terms of getting stuff done,” Earl said.

“It has been disappointing with the NRL that I haven’t had any contact and it’s always been hard to make contact.

“I think it’s a case of big fish, small fish.”

Earl said he couldn’t wait for the hearing after admitting he had been tempted to speak out and give his side of the story many times in the past two years.

“I’ve thought about that day every day now for two years,” he said.

“When it first came out and I was the front of the paper as the ‘drug dealer’ … that rattled me.

“Mine (peptides) were used while I was injured so there’s no performance enhancement there, I was just trying to heal a bit quicker.

“Whether that happened or not, I’m not too sold.”

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