Jarrod Mullen doping ban: suspended for 4 years

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    Jarrod Mullen doping ban: Former Newcastle Knights player suspended for 4 years

    Updated yesterday at 3:50pm
    PHOTO: Jarrod Mullen has been banned for four years by the NRL for a doping offence. (AAP: Paul Miller, File)
    MAP: Newcastle 2300

    Jarrod Mullen's NRL career is all but over after the former Newcastle Knights player was suspended for four years for a doping offence.

    The NRL banned the ex-Knight and one-time New South Wales Origin playmaker until 2021 after he was found guilty of taking the banned steroid Drostanolone by the league's anti-doping body.

    The 30-year-old Mullen has 21 days to appeal against the decision and take the NRL to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Mullen delivered a positive result for Drostanolone after a routine swab test during preseason training last year.

    The Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), in March, recommended Mullen be banned for four years, however he chose not to accept the punishment and appealed to the NRL anti-doping tribunal.

    He pleaded for leniency, arguing he was not attempting to gain a competitive advantage but was hoping to repair his body after suffering a second serious hamstring injury in a year.

    Mullen, who played 211 matches for the Knights following his 2005 debut, was provisionally suspended on January 17 and was on Wednesday suspended after the anti-doping tribunal, chaired by former High Court judge Ian Callinan, found he had violated the game's anti-doping policy.

    "As we have said all along, this has been a disappointing matter for all parties," Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said in a statement.

    "We wish to reiterate this matter took place independently of the club.

    "It is important to acknowledge Jarrod made a significant contribution to the club over a long period of time and that adds to the disappointment in how he now departs the club."

    ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt said: "ASADA will continue to work to protect those athletes who make the right decisions when it comes to injury treatment and rehabilitation.

    "Ultimately, Mr Mullen has paid a heavy price for his poor decision making."

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