ScoMo reacts to fresh NRL controversy
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has responded to the news NRL star Bronson Xerri was caught up in controversy after his positive test to performance-enhancing drugs was announced yesterday.
The 19-year-old centre, who plays for Morrison's favourite team the Sharks, faces a four-year ban after anabolic steroids were found in his system from a test undertaken in November.
Speaking on Today, the PM said there should be "no tolerance" for drugs in sport.
"It's very disappointing. That process is still ongoing with ASADA so I will let that play out," Morrison said. "He's a very talented young player. There's no doubt about that.
"He's as quick as lightning and this is very disappointing. I feel for the players and the club but there is no tolerance for drugs in sport and ASADA should do their job and should follow that through.
"There are no exceptions and it would appear - and I hope it's not the case - but it would appear that he (Xerri) has made some very poor decisions."
Xerri will wait to have his B-sample tested but if that too comes back positive then the teenage flyer faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
Xerri tested positive to four banned substances when tested last November, but was only notified and provisionally banned on Tuesday - just two days out from the season's resumption.
The exciting talent did not play a game in that time, after missing the opening two rounds of 2020 due to a shoulder injury.
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A six-month delay in the notification process of Xerri's positive sample has been questioned by former Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen and NRL veteran James Graham, as they queried why it took so long to return a result.
Gallen, who was at the Sharks during the 2011 peptides scandal and was one of 10 players stood down by ASADA in 2014, accused the body of chasing headlines and said the situation should have been dealt with in November when the positive sample was given.
The timeline is also confusing for Dragons prop Graham, who said he could not understand why ASADA would let an athlete with a positive sample potentially play for six months.
"Personally, I've probably got more questions for ASADA than I do Bronson Xerri at the moment," Graham said on NRL 360.
"I'm struggling to get my head around how they let a player who has provided a positive test potentially play for six months.
"I'm dumbfounded for that. I'd have plenty of questions for ASADA."
Xerri was set to be named for the Sharks to play the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
Originally published as ScoMo reacts to fresh NRL controversy