Jarrod Mullen of the Knights.
Jarrod Mullen of the Knights. DARREN PATEMAN

Mullen reportedly fails second steroids test

RUGBY LEAGUE: The career of Newcastle Knights veteran Jarrod Mullen looks to be over if a report that his B-sample also has tested positive to steroid drostanolone is correct.

The 29-year-old is facing a maximum four-year ban.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority has yet to confirm the B-sample result with either the NRL or Newcastle, but Channel Seven reported the sample was positive to a banned substance.

The NRL has suspended Mullen provisionally after an out-of-season test by ASADA last November came back positive.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg said the saga was a warning to players about performance-enhancing drugs.

"Anyone who loses a career, it's disappointing for them, and ultimately disappointing for the game. But there are always consequences for poor decisions,” he said.

Mullen is the first NRL player to test positive to a banned steroid since former Sydney Roosters forward Martin Kennedy received a two-year, nine-month ban in 2015.

Greenberg said penalties were clear and well-known for drug use.

"We do a huge amount of education and players need to make good choices and when they don't and they take risks, there are massive consequences,” he said.

"We're talking about career-defining consequences. I think all players are acutely aware of their responsibilities.”

Newcastle CEO Matt Gidley said the club was anxiously waiting on ASADA's decision on the B-sample outcome with the new NRL season just three weeks away.

"I've spoken to ASADA about that. It's difficult for them to give us any definite time frame,” Gidley said.

"They understand we would like this to move as quickly as practically possible.

"They're mindful of that and we're hopeful it's a matter of weeks rather than months.”

It is understood ASADA is still investigating the background to Mullen's positive test.

In a statement provided to the Seven Network, ASADA said it would investigate further to try to determine where Mullen sourced the steroid and whether other Knights players were involved.

It is understood several of Mullen's Knights teammates had been blood-tested, and laptops and mobile phones seized.

"When an athlete returns an adverse analytical finding, we fully explore the circumstances around that AAF - how the athlete accessed the substance, the role of the people surrounding the athlete and any other issues pertaining to the use of the substance by the athlete,” ASADA said.

"In doing so, we pursue and follow any leads as part of that process.”

Gidley said there was no suggestion that any other player could be caught up in the case.

"At the moment Jarrod has returned a positive test, that's unfortunate but at this stage there is no one else under investigation,” he said. 

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