Image: FILE PHOTO: Britain Rugby Union – Australia Captain’s Run – Twickenham Stadium – 2/12/16 Australia’s James Slipper during the Captain’s Run Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Wallabies and Queensland Reds prop James Slipper has been banned for two months after testing positive for cocaine twice, Rugby Australia (RA) said on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Slipper had failed drug tests in February and May this year, and was given the minimum mandatory suspension in RA’s illicit drugs policy after a hearing last week, the governing body said in a statement. He was also fined A$27,500 (15,730 pounds).
“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,” RA chief executive Raelene Castle.
“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.
“James has expressed his sincere remorse for his actions and for placing himself, Rugby Australia and the Reds in this very difficult situation.”
Slipper, who made his international debut in 2010, has 86 caps for Australia and played more than 100 Super Rugby games for the Reds. He is the second Wallabies and Reds player to fall foul of RA’s illicit drugs policy in the past six months.
Utility back Karmichael Hunt was suspended by RA for four games earlier this year after he pleaded guilty to possessing a tablet of Xanax. Hunt, who was also banned for six weeks in 2015 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession, has been out of the Reds side since.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)
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