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Hardaker provisionally suspended for positive drugs test, will miss World Cup

09 Octobre 2017

"Finally, I would like to make it clear that in no way did I, nor would I, ever take a substance with the intention of enhancing my performance".

"He will therefore not be considered for the England Rugby League World Cup squad".

Hardaker will be left out of the squad travelling to Australia later this month after the Castleford Tigers star failed a drugs test.

England worldwide Zak Hardaker - dropped by his club Castleford for the Grand Final over the weekend - has been provisionally suspended over a failed drugs test, the Rugby Football League said Monday.

Castleford dropped the fullback for Saturday's Super League Grand Final against Leeds for what they called a breach of club rules.

Hardaker scored 13 tries in 30 matches as the Tigers ran away with the League Leaders shield and was a key figure in their march to a first Super League finale.

Castleford insist this notification came on Friday - Hardaker's test took place after the Super 8s game on Sep 8.

Wigan's Sam Tomkins could earn a recall, despite being dropped from the elite training squad as he struggled with injury at the start of the year, although Warriors' failure to make the play-off semi-finals denied him a further opportunity to impress.

That brought his six-year spell at Leeds to an end and reunited Hardaker with Powell, who gave him his break at Featherstone Rovers.

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He is a amusing guy, just the heart and soul of the dressing room. "I still sort of feel sorry for Stokes and believe [Alex] Hales was just as culpable".

The full-back played no part in Saturday's Grand Final defeat to the Leeds Rhinos and he will not be included in England's World Cup squad.

However, his career has been marred by off-the-field issues.

He missed out on the 2013 World Cup and was fined by Leeds after he "acted unprofessionally", before going on an anger management course following an incident in Leeds during the 2015 season. The problem is that he keeps making those mistakes.

The Rugby Football League initially confirmed Hardaker's provisional suspension on Monday morning.

Now as England boss Wayne Bennett prepares to name his World Cup squad, it has been revealed he has failed a drugs test. But he still has a chance for some redemption.

He turns 26 in a few days, so he is of an age where he could still return and perform at the highest level again.

"He was pivotal to how Castleford have played this year".

So more importantly it now comes down to the quality of his own decisions.

Hardaker provisionally suspended for positive drugs test, will miss World Cup