Sharks centre Bronson Xerri’s fate may be decided on Tuesday with the 19-year-old set to have his B-sample tested in a North Sydney laboratory after initially testing positive to anabolic steroids, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Questions remain in how Xerri will respond to doping scandal that has threatened his young career, with him remaining silent except for a statement released through his management last week which said “he was devastated, but …. bound by the system”.
The Australian Anti-Doping Authority has been establishing the case against Xerri in recent weeks and are due to test his B-sample at the WADA-accredited Australian Sports Drug Testing laboratory on Tuesday.
Xerri had until last Tuesday to decide if he would waive his right to having a B-sample taken after the banned substances exogenous Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol were found in his blood after an ASADA targeted testing visit to his home last November.
ASADA rules state that players have the right to be in the lab while their sample is being tested and that results are expected a week afterward.
If the test comes back positive, the case would then be taken to the Independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel and then Xerri would choose to have the case heard by the NRL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal or accept his punishment, which could be a maximum four-year ban.
In bad news for Xerri, experts say that there is almost no chance of a variation of a B-sample from the results of the initial test.
“In the case of exogenous anabolic steroids, I’ve never seen a case where the B didn’t match the A,” said former ASADA chief executive Richard Ings.
“People look at the B-sample and say, ‘There is a chance the B might not match the A’. The main reason, though, for having a B-sample is so the player and his legal representative can be in the lab and watch the bottle be opened and make sure it’s theirs. It’s really a chance for the player to observe exactly the same process that occurred for the A sample and be satisfied that the process was followed properly.”
It has also been revealed that Xerri had his phone taken and scanned for data the day he was notified of his positive test by ASADA, who used the data to help with a further investigation on the supply of steroids.