The NRL has refuted suggestions that Sandor Earl has had all charges of trafficking banned substances dropped, saying the former Canberra winger was still facing multiple anti-doping breaches including allegations of using and trafficking several banned substances.
A report by the ABC's 7.30 program on Monday night included the development that Earl's name had been added to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's Register of Findings, meaning the 24-year-old will soon front a hearing more than nine months after being rubbed out of the game.
Earl's lawyer Tim Unsworth said he had been informed by ASADA last week that a charge of trafficking the peptide CJC-1295 had been omitted by the drugs in sport watchdog and took aim as a result at the NRL for making allegations against Earl public last year before the investigation had been completed.
The absence of a possible trafficking offence stood to significantly reduce Earl's ban from a minimum four-year suspension to a two-year ban for using a banned substance and potentially even less if his assistance to ASADA investigators was taken into account.
However, the NRL's departing chief operating officer Jim Doyle said on Tuesday that Earl still faced allegations of trafficking other banned substances despite the claims revolving around CJC-1295 not being recorded on ASADA's Register of Findings.
Doyle said Earl had admitted injecting CJC-1295 on many occasions in 2011, when he was at Penrith and recovering from a double shoulder reconstruction. Earl was referred to a Cabramatta doctor for the injections by sports scientist Stephen Dank.
"Further, in relation to conduct alleged to have occurred in 2012 and 2013, he faces in the NRL's Anti-Doping Tribunal allegations of anti-doping rule violations of trafficking or attempted trafficking in other prohibited substances including the growth hormone Somatropin, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMS), the anabolic agent Clenbuterol and the testosterone blend Sustanon," an NRL statement said.
Doyle defended the NRL's decision to issue Earl with an infraction notice last August only two days after he made admissions to ASADA personnel in an interview.
"There is no place for drugs in our sport and we are comfortable with the way we have handled the matter in the best interests of the integrity of the NRL competition," he said.
"We acted quickly to ensure a player who admitted using performance enhancing drugs was not playing in our competition. We make no apologies for taking this stance."
Doyle said Earl's discussions with ASADA about a possible discounted penalty had concluded and he would now face an NRL hearing. Any suspension Earl receives will start form August 29, 2013, the day he agreed to stand down.
Earl took to Twitter after the NRL's announcement, tweeting: "Again complete disregard for the law and no support from the NRL these mistakes will be held accountable I know the facts head is up!!"