On the eve of the 2017 Grand Final as Man of Steel nominee Zak Hardaker got ready to take on former team Leeds Rhinos, he was hit with a ban after testing positive for a banned substance, cocaine, a few weeks earlier.
Hardaker missed the Grand Final which Leeds of course went on to win and Hardaker would miss the entire 2018 season due to his 14-month ban.
However, it was nearly much worse for Hardaker who revealed on the Fully Game YouTube channel that he had to spend £40,000 on legal fees to prove that he didn’t take it before a game to enhance his performance.
He said: “The ban was 14 months so it was a season, everyone thought it was going to be a two year ban. I had to prove that I did it on a Tuesday and not before the game because they say you can perform better whilst on it.
“My argument was ‘have you ever actually done it’, asking all this committee meeting. Have you ever actually done it, because if you have you’d have a heart attack after about 10 minutes.
“So I was arguing with UKAD about when did I take it and that was the point that meant it went from a two year ban to 14 months. It took months and a lot of money just to say I did it on a Tuesday, just over £40 grand in solicitor’s fees and stuff like that.”
Hardaker would eventually return to Super League with Wigan Warriors in 2019.