Anxious time: Former Canberra winger Sandor Earl is awaiting news of the length of his ASADA suspension. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Former Canberra winger Sandor Earl may learn his fate next week after completing a final interview with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Earl, who has also negotiated a paid interview with Channel Nine, was re-interviewed by ASADA last week after being given more time to respond to an infraction notice issued by the NRL on August 29.
He faces a four-year ban for using and trafficking the banned peptide CJC-1295 and other unidentified prohibited substances but is hoping to receive a 75 per cent reduction for providing substantial assistance to the ASADA investigation.
If successful, Earl would be able to resume playing next September - in time for the 2014 NRL finals or the start of the French rugby union competition, where he was due to play for Pau-based Pro 2 side Section Paloise, before admitting to doping breaches during his first interview with ASADA.
It is believed Earl has met with ASADA investigators four times. Before his most recent interview, Fairfax Media was told he would need to provide more information to escape with a one-year ban.
Under clause 10.5.3 of the WADA code, a person seeking a reduced suspension for providing ''substantial assistance'' must:
Fully disclose in a signed written statement all information he or she knows about doping violations; anti-doping rule violations;
Fully co-operate with the investigation and give testimony at a hearing if requested to do so;
Provide credible information that comprise an important part of any case which is initiated.
Earl has said through his lawyer, Tim Unsworth, he was unaware of any information that would lead to the prosecution of other players.
However, Earl has provided information to ASADA about sports scientist Stephen Dank, a focal point of the investigation into the use of prohibited substances by up to 50 players in the NRL and AFL.
The evidence provided by Earl, who met Dank during his time at Penrith, has sparked speculation that more players are set to be interviewed by ASADA - including some from a club not mentioned in the Australian Crime Commission report released in February.
An NRL spokesperson was unable to confirm if any further players had received requests for interviews and said the NRL would not comment. Fairfax Media was told of a club and a player but officials insisted they were unaware of any allegations and the NRL integrity unit also did not have any information to support the claims.
More than 30 NRL players have been interviewed but Earl is the only one to have received an infraction notice so far after admitting to using CJC-1295 while recovering from a double shoulder reconstruction in 2011. He told ASADA that Dank had recommended the treatment and he was injected with the peptide at a Cabramatta clinic by Dr Ijaz Khan. Dank has denied any wrongdoing or supplying players with banned substances.
Earl has been advised he should learn the next development, likely to be the length of the ban ASADA is willing to offer him, next week.