England international Zak Hardaker dropped by his club Castleford for Grand Final over the weekend has been provisionally suspended over a failed drugs test, the Rugby Football League said Monday.
Castleford, who lost 24-6 to Leeds at Old Trafford on Saturday, dropped the full-back for what they called a breach of club rules and the governing body has now revealed the player tested positive for a banned substance following his club’s win against the same opponents last month.
“The Rugby Football League can confirm that Zak Hardaker is provisionally suspended from all competition after it received notification from UK Anti-Doping that he had tested positive for a banned substance following a Super 8s game between Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos on September 8, 2017,” a spokesman said.
The 25-year-old full-back has enjoyed a stunning return to form in his first season with the Tigers following his exit from Leeds. Hardaker has been in trouble before, axed from the England squad during the 2013 World Cup due to a breach of discipline that earned him a final warning from Leeds.
He served a five-match ban in 2014 for a homophobic insult towards a referee and in 2015, after being detained and questioned on suspicion of assault, he was forced to pay compensation and write a letter of apology to the victim.