The career of controversial South Sydney centre Kirisome Auva’a hangs in the balance after recording a second strike under the NRL’s illicit drug policy.
The club said he had not returned a positive result but contravened the rules, which amounted to a second infringement.
Souths and the NRL would offer no further clarification as to what that contravention was.
It has been reported that Auva’a first tested positive for illicit drugs three months ago and he is now facing sanctions.
Auva’a is understood to have been stood down and has not played since round 15 against Parramatta.
Under the NRL’s illicit drugs policy, players who record a second contravention will serve a 12-game ban as well as face the prospect of contract termination and further treatment and monitoring.
Auva’a and his management had until 4pm on Wednesday to lodge an appeal against the breach notice but chose not to and the club is working with the NRL and players’ association on his sanction.
The 24-year-old’s career is hanging by a thread after he was suspended in 2014 for nine months after pleading guilty to domestic violence charges.
Auva’a was found guilty of recklessly causing injury and criminal damage after a violent attack against his former partner.
He was suspended indefinitely but returned to rugby league through the Rabbitohs’ feeder side North Sydney.
Following his ban for domestic violence offences, Auva’a promised to turn his life around and pledged that he wanted to become an anti-domestic violence ambassador.
He and back-rower Paul Carter were reportedly last month stood down after showing up for training under the influence of alcohol.
It is the second time Souths have been embroiled in a drugs scandal in less than 12 months after Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray nearly lost their lives late last year after overdosing on prescription painkillers.
Walker was subsequently released from the remainder of his contract and joined Manly on a four-year contract.