CASTLEFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Zak Hardaker of Castleford during the Betfred Super League match between Castleford Tigers and Catalans Dragons at Wheldon Road on March 26, 2017 in Castleford, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Zak Hardaker provisionally banned from rugby league

England international and Castleford Tigers player Zak Hardaker has been banned from rugby league after failing a drugs test, the Rugby Football League has announced.

The ban will also see Hardaker miss out on selection for England’s squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup to be played at the end of the month.

Castleford dropped the Hardaker for the Super League Grand Final which was played last Saturday with the governing body now revealing the player tested positive for a banned substance following his club’s win over Leeds a month ago.

Hardaker has since apologised via the Castleford club website.

Read the full statement below:

Castleford Tigers can confirm that it has now received notification that Zak Hardaker has tested positive for a banned substance following a Super 8s match against Leeds Rhinos on 8th September 2017.

The club was made aware at 10:00am on Thursday morning that the player would receive official written notification from UK Anti-Doping and therefore the player was immediately suspended.

Official notification was delivered on Friday and following discussions with the player on Sunday the decision was taken to announce the result of the test today in order to clarify the circumstances around Zak’s omission.

Zak Hardaker, said: “I would like to apologise to my Castleford Tigers teammates, the staff and all fans for my enormous error of judgment. I was given an opportunity by this great club and in what has been one of the most important weeks in its history, I have let everyone at the club down. For that, I truly apologise,”

“Finally, I would like to make it clear that in no way did I, nor would I, ever take a substance with the intention of enhancing my performance.”

Castleford Tigers will be making no further comment until the outcome of the case has been determined.

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