The NRL has imposed a one month’s suspension on Penrith Panthers player Brent Naden, backdated to the date of his provisional suspension.
Naden was originally stood down on December 1 after testing positive to cocaine on the night of the Panther's grand final loss to the Melbourne Melbourne.
Naden did not contest a Notice of Alleged Anti-Doping Rule Violation in relation to positive samples for Benzoylecgonine and Methylecgonine (metabolites of Cocaine) collected from him following the NRL Grand Final on 25 October 2020.
Having established that the ingestion of the cocaine was out-of-competition and not for performance enhancing purposes, Naden was sanctioned in accordance with new provisions of the incoming World Anti-Doping Code 2021 which permit a one-month period of ineligibility for qualifying athletes who also undertake an approved rehabilitation program.
The Panthers released a statement on the club website.
"Our club acknowledges the penalty handed to Brent Naden by the NRL in relation to his use of a recreational drug.
"Brent has come to understand the significant impact of his actions on his family, our club and the game of Rugby League.
"He similarly understands how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to return to the NRL in 2021.
"With the support of Panthers staff and his family, Brent continues to work through his personal issues with a view to reaching his full potential on and off the field.
"We anticipate he will return to Panthers pre-season training following the completion of his suspension."
Naden can resume training with the club from January 1st.