Wallabies and Queensland Reds star James Slipper has been suspended for two months after testing positive to cocaine.
Rugby Australia said the 28-year-old Gold Coaster returned two positive tests for the drug, which were taken from urine samples between February and May 2018.
“Under the provisions of the Rugby Australia Illicit Drugs Policy the first instance of a positive test remains confidential between the player, the Rugby Australia Integrity Unit, and medical staff,” Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said at a snap press conference on Thursday.
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“This is treated purely as a health and welfare issue and the player is provided with the appropriate medical support and placed in a target testing pool.
“A second violation attracts a mandatory period of ineligibility and is referred to a Drugs Tribunal for consideration.”
After conducting a hearing last Thursday, the Tribunal ordered Slipper be stood down for the mandatory minimum period of ineligibility of two months.
He has also been ordered to pay a fine of $27,500.
“We are extremely disappointed to be in this position today with one of our most senior international players having submitted two positive tests for cocaine,” Ms Castle said.
“We are fully aware that James is dealing with very significant personal issues and we have been working with him since February on these matters. We are ensuring that James is receiving full help and support, including specialist medical treatment.
“James has expressed his sincere remorse for his actions and for placing himself, Rugby Australia and the Reds in this very difficult situation. It is an incredibly challenging time for him and his family and our immediate focus is on James’ health and wellbeing while he undertakes an enforced period away from the sport.”
— FOX SPORTS Australia (@FOXSportsAUS) May 24, 2018