NRL star Michael Jennings banned for three years amid doping saga

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The NRL has banned Michael Jennings for three years for breaching its anti-doping rules.

While contracted with the Eels, Jennings was stood down during the 2020 finals series after returning a positive A-sample for the banned substances LGD-4033 (Ligandrol), its metabolite Di-hydroxy-LGD-4033 as well as Ibutamoren and its metabolites Desbenzyl Ibutamoren and OH Ibutamoren.

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The former Eels, Roosters and Panthers centre later admitted he had taken the substances and waived his right to a hearing before the NRL Anti-Doping Tribunal, which led his ban to be reduced by one year.

Jennings’ ban accounts for time already spent on the sidelines. He will be eligible to return to the competition on September 21, 2023, by which time he will be 35 years old.

The NRL is continuing to offer wellbeing support to Jennings, who left the Eels in May this year.

Since playing his last NRL game in 2020, Jennings has been taken to court by ex-wife Kirra Michelle Wilden in an ongoing civil case. She alleged the footballer abused and raped her “five or six times” between 2010 and the couple’s divorce in 2016.

Jennings has not been charged by police and has emphatically denied the allegations.

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Camera IconMichael Jennings made a name for himself at the Panthers before spending time at both the Roosters and Eels. Credit: News Limited

Jennings played 298 games across 14 seasons in the NRL. He featured at Origin level on 18 occasions, scoring six tries for New South Wales. He also represented Australia, NSW City and the NRL All Stars.

At the peak of his career, Jennings was one of the most damaging centres in the game but was kept from ever winning the Dally M Centre Of The Year by the likes of Jamie Lyon and Josh Morris.

He scored the try that sealed victory for the Roosters in the 2013 NRL Grand Final, handing the club its first premiership in more than a decade.

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