Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson's week just got even worse, as the NRL has suspended forward Martin Kennedy for two years and nine months in relation to the use of banned substances.
The Roosters' plans for the hhulking prop forward unfortunately never had a chance. After signing on for the 2015 season, Kennedy was issued with an infraction notice for possession and use of banned testosterone-based substances on 19 March 2015, effectively wiping him off the team sheet for the entire season.
The issue has now been finalised, with Kennedy due to sit out the 2016 and 2017 season. Kennedy has the option of escalating this one to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but after recent events, will probably decide against that.
This comes less than 24 hours after shocking footage of Mitchell Pearce simulating a sex act with a small dog was leaked to the media. Not an ideal pre-season preparation for the Bondi-based team.
The full statement from the NRL is below.
The NRL announced on Thursday that Martin Kennedy has been suspended for 2 years and 9 months under the League’s Anti-Doping Policy.
The Anti-Doping Tribunal, chaired by former High Court Judge, The Hon Ian Callinan AC QC, found that Mr Kennedy had committed the following violations of the Anti-Doping Policy:
• Attempted use of SARMS S22
• Attempted use of Growth Hormone
• Attempted Use of Chorionic Gonadotrophin
• Attempted Use of Insulin
The Tribunal also found that Mr Kennedy had engaged in conduct which amounted to Aggravating Circumstances under the Anti-Doping Policy, and accordingly increased the minimum sanction of 2 years by an additional 9 months.
The Tribunal imposed a period of suspension of 2 years and 9 months, to run from the date of Mr Kennedy’s provisional suspension which commenced on 19 March 2015.
Mr Kennedy’s suspension will expire on 19 December 2017.
NRL Head of Integrity Nick Weeks welcomed the Anti-Doping Tribunal’s findings and reaffirmed the NRL's commitment to drug-free sport.
“The NRL remains committed to eliminating performance enhancing drugs in our game," Mr Weeks said.
"Drug free sport is essential in ensuring a fair competition and a safe working environment for our players, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to achieve this.
"Today’s decision of the Anti-Doping Tribunal demonstrates and furthers that effort.”
Mr Kennedy has 21 days to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.