Rugby News

UPDATE 1-Rugby league-NRL player Jennings 'shocked' at positive drug test

(Recasts with Jennings statement)

SYDNEY, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Parramatta Eels’ Michael Jennings said on Saturday he was “completely shocked” at news he failed a doping test last month, vowing to do everything he could to clear his name.

Jennings was provisionally suspended by the National Rugby League on Saturday after it said his A-sample tested positive for performance-enhancing ligandrol and ibutamoren and their metabolites on Sept. 21, with the result referred to Sport Integrity Australia.

“I am totally against any form of cheating in sport and am completely shocked to find myself in this position,” Jennings said in a statement to News Corp. “I will do everything I can to clear my name.

“I have dedicated the last 14 years of my life to playing in the NRL. I would never do anything to jeopardise my standards, my reputation, or the legacy I leave, especially for my son.”

Ligandrol is an anabolic agent and used to increase muscle size and bone density while ibutamoren is a growth hormone.

Both are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Jennings can ask for his B-sample to be analysed.

His provisional suspension ruled him out of the Eels’ playoff match against South Sydney later on Saturday.

“I am completely shattered that I won’t be able to play with my team tonight,” Jennings added.

“This is a really difficult time for me and my family, but I will work with Sports Integrity Australia to progress this case and clear my name.”

Jennings could face a four-year ban if found guilty.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Grant McCool and William Mallard