Panthers star Brent Naden has been provisionally suspended under the NRL’s Anti-doping Policy.
The NRL asserts that Naden returned a positive A-sample for metabolites of cocaine following a test conducted after the Panthers’ grand final loss to the Storm, in which he featured off the bench.
“Mr Naden is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant sport, including rugby league, while the provisional suspension is in place,” the NRL said in a statement release on Tuesday.
Cocaine is prohibited In-Competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy.
The Panthers had been supporting Naden as he battled with a number of off-field problems and acknowledged the NRL’s provisional suspension on Tuesday.
“Penrith Panthers acknowledges the provisional suspension handed down to player Brent Naden after he returned a positive test for a recreational drug,” A Panthers 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.
Under the Anti-Doping Policy, Mr Naden now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.