The Penrith Panthers have confirmed centre Brent Naden tested positive for a recreational drug – believed to be cocaine – on the day of the 2020 grand final in which the Panthers lost to Melbourne Storm.
Naden came off the bench and played 32 minutes at ANZ Stadium.
“Penrith Panthers acknowledges the provisional suspension handed down to player Brent Naden after he returned a positive test for a recreational drug,” the Panthers said in a statement.
“As previously reported, Brent approached the club following the 2020 NRL Grand Final to seek help with a number of personal issues. At that time he admitted to the use of a recreational drug.
“Panthers informed the NRL of Brent’s admission and with the support of the club, he commenced a voluntary rehabilitation program at a private health facility.”
Naden was dubiously dropped to the bench in favour of utility half Tyrone May for several big games at the back end of the season – including the grand final at Homebush.