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Broncos hooker James Segeyao

Former Papuan New Guinean international James Segeyaro will be free to resume his playing career in June after he was handed a 20-month suspension by the NRL Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Chaired by the Ian Callinan AC QC with panellists Dr Sharron Flahive and Sean Garlick, the tribunal found Segeyaro breached the NRL’s Anti-Doping Policy in September, 2019 when he tested positive to the presence of Di-Hydroxy LGD-4033 (Ligandrol).

The tribunal found that the 30-year-old, who was playing for the Broncos at the time after stints with the Cowboys, Panthers and Sharks, bore a significant degree of responsibility for the positive result but ruled he had not intentionally taken the Ligandrol.

It was likely to have entered his system via the use of a food blender maintained by a member of his household that contained residues of the substance. 

As the tribunal was satisfied that the doping was not intentional, Segeyaro was entitled to a reduced sanction under the WADA Code. 

His ban has been backdated to when he was provisionally suspended on October 3, 2019, which means he would be eligible to be registered again as a player on June 2.

David Sharpe, CEO of Sport Integrity Australia, said the agency would consider the decision in greater detail before making any decision regarding an appeal to the sanction.