Cronulla Sharks centre Bronson Xerri has been stood down by the NRL after retuning a positive drugs test in November.
Widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the game, the 19-year-old broke onto the scene last season, scoring 13 tries in 22 games.
However, he now faces a possible four-year suspension, should his B-sample also come back positive.
In a statement, the NRL said: “The Provisional Suspension Notice asserts that Mr Xerri returned a positive A-sample for exogenous Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol which are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy. He was tested by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) on 25 November 2019.
“Mr Xerri is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant sport, including rugby league, while the provisional suspension is in place.
“Under the Anti-Doping Policy, Mr Xerri now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.”
The Sharks also confirmed they have been in contact with Xerri and released their own statement, saying: “Bronson has been stood down from training and playing responsibilities while the process runs its course, which under the policy includes the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.
“The Club has been in contact with Bronson and has offered him full welfare support as he deals with this situation.”