Australian NRL player Jarrod Mullen gets 4-year doping ban

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Jarrod Mullen.

Jarrod Mullen. (Photo: Simon Watts/PHOTOSPORT)

SYDNEY (AP) — Former Newcastle Knights halfback Jarrod Mullen has been suspended for four years for testing positive to an anabolic steroid, all but ending his National Rugby League career.

The NRL and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority on Wednesday said the 30-year-old Mullen was found guilty of taking the banned steroid Drostanolone by the NRL's anti-doping body. He has 21 days to appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mullen delivered the positive result during pre-season training in November.

ASADA recommended Mullen be banned for four years, but he chose not to accept the punishment and appealed to the NRL anti-doping tribunal.

He pleaded for leniency, arguing he was not attempting to gain a competitive advantage but was hoping to repair his body after sustaining a second serious hamstring injury in a year.

Mullen, who played 211 games for the Knights after his debut in 2005, was provisionally suspended on Jan. 17.

"As we have said all along, this has been a disappointing matter for all parties," Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said.

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