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NRL hands down Naden’s cocaine punishment

The NRL has handed Penrith Panthers centre Brent Naden a one-month suspension for his use of cocaine, but a backdated sanction means he will be free to play and train from Friday.

Naden tested positive to cocaine on the night of Penrith's grand final loss to the Melbourne Storm.

It was determined his ingestion of cocaine was not for performance-enhancing reasons and instead on out-of-competition grounds.

Therefore, he has been sanctioned in accordance with new previsions of the incoming World Anti-Doping Code 2021.

Naden is also required to complete an approved rehabilitation program.

Brent Naden

Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher addressed Naden's sanction in a statement.

"Our club acknowledges the penalty handed to Brent Naden by the NRL in relation to his use of a recreational drug.

"Brent has come to understand the significant impact of his actions on his family, our club and the game of Rugby League.

"He similarly understands how fortunate he is to have the opportunity to return to the NRL in 2021.

"With the support of Panthers staff and his family, Brent continues to work through his personal issues with a view to reaching his full potential on and off the field.

"We anticipate he will return to Panthers pre-season training following the completion of his suspension."

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