SYDNEY: Australian rugby league player Bronson Xerri has tested positive for banned steroids and was suspended by the National Rugby League on Tuesday, two days before the season gets back underway following the COVID-19 shutdown.
The promising teenager, who plays at left centre for the Cronulla Sharks, failed an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) test on Nov. 25 last year, the league said in a statement.
"Mr Xerri returned a positive A-sample for exogenous Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol which are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)," it read.
"Mr Xerri is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant sport, including rugby league, while the provisional suspension is in place."
Xerri faces a four-year suspension from all WADA-compliant sports.
The Sharks, who play Wests Tigers in their first game for 10 weeks on Saturday, said 19-year-old Xerri had been "stood down" from training and playing pending the result of a test on his "B" sample, should he decide to exercise his right to have one.
"The club has been in contact with Bronson and has offered him full welfare support as he deals with this situation," the Sharks said in a statement.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)