Martin Kennedy during a training session  in 2013. The Lismore-born player has been suspended for two years and nine months under the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy.
Martin Kennedy during a training session in 2013. The Lismore-born player has been suspended for two years and nine months under the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy. DANIEL MUNOZ

NRL bans Lismore-born Martin Kennedy until end of 2017

NORTHERN Rivers product Martin Kennedy has been suspended for two years and nine months under the National Rugby League’s Anti-Doping Policy.

Kennedy, 26, was born in Lismore and played 66 games in the forwards for the Sydney Roosters from 2009 to 2013 after being signed from Ipswich juniors.

He played 16 games for the Brisbane Broncos in 2014 before announcing on social media that he was returning to the Roosters for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

But in March last year he was issued with an infraction notice for possession and use of banned testosterone-based substances.

The Anti-Doping Tribunal, chaired by former High Court Judge Ian Callinan, found that 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 Kennedy had engaged in conduct which amounted to aggravating circum- stances under the Anti-Doping Policy, and accordingly increased the minimum sanction of two years by an additional nine months.

The Tribunal imposed a period of suspension of two years and nine months, to run from the date of Kennedy’s provisional suspension which started on March 19, 2015.

The ban will expire on December 19, 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,” 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.

“(The) decision of the Anti-Doping Tribunal demonstrates and furthers that effort.”

Kennedy has 21 days to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 2016 NRL premiership season is set down to start in the first week of March.



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