The NRL have suspended Newcastle Knights player Jarrod Mullen for four years after he tested positive for the banned steroid Drostanolone.
Mullen had appealed to the NRL’s anti-doping body in March after a four-year ban was recommended by the Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
The 30-year-old’s appeal argued he had used the drug to help with his recovery from a series of serious hamstring injuries rather than to gain any competitive advantage.
The NRL’s anti-doping tribunal confirmed the ban on Wednesday, leaving Mullen 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“ASADA will continue to work to protect those athletes who make the right decisions when it comes to injury treatment and rehabilitation,” Chief Executive Ben McDevitt said in a statement.
“Ultimately, Mr Mullen has paid a heavy price for his poor decision making.”