The NRL has imposed a sanction of one month's suspension on Penrith Panthers player Brent Naden following the conclusion of anti-doping processes conducted by Sport Integrity Australia and the NRL.
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 is 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 sanction will come into effect on 1 January 2021 with the commencement of the new WADA Code.
In accordance with the WADA Code, Naden's one-month period of suspension is backdated to the date of his provisional suspension and he will be eligible to return to training and competition on 1 January 2021.
The sanction issued to Naden concerns the anti-doping breach only and any other related matters will be reviewed in the new year. The Panthers and the NRL will continue to provide support to Naden.