Banned NRL player Bronson Xerri looks poised to return to the league following his four-year suspension by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for using performance-enhancing drugs.
The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs agreed on Friday to allow the centre to join the club when his suspension ends in November 2023, ahead of the 2024 season.
Xerri’s contract with the Bulldogs has been sent to the NRL board for final approval which was alluded to in a brief club statement.
“The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs would like to confirm the club has issued a playing contract to Bronson Xerri for the 2024 and 2025 NRL Season,” the statement said.
“The club is continuing to work with the NRL Integrity Unit to ensure full compliance is undertaken, before Bronson is able to return to the sport in November 2023.
The Bulldogs will make no further comment on the issue during this time.”
If approved, the 22-year-old can join in training in October (2023), permitting a series of drug tests.
Xerri was banned for steroid use in 2019, the year he made his NRL debut for Cronulla Sharks.
Featuring in 22 games, the young star was quick to make a splash, recording 13 tries that season and showing plenty of promise for the future.
The then 19-year-old was officially hit with a breach notice in May 2020, which results showed his B-sample came back positive for anabolic steroids.
Despite going to the tribunal to appeal the findings, Xerri was handed down a four-year suspension by NRL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal.
At the time, the bright prospect vowed to return to the league, according to Fox Sports.
“For all you haters calling me a drug cheat, you all have no clue how much I put in the work to be where I was, and to my loyal family and friends, words can’t express how much you all mean to me. The comeback is on, 2024,” Xerri said.
“I’m devastated but I’m bound by the system so there is not much more I can say at this stage.
“There is a process in place that I am required to follow.”
HOW LONG IS BRONSON XERRI’S BAN?
Xerri’s ban that was handed down by ASADA and the NRL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal was four years.
According to the NRL, “Players, (and also club staff), can also be banned for trafficking, supplying, or possessing performance enhancing drugs, helping another player use them, or for evading a test. Bans typically vary from one to four years depending on what you took and the type of charge.”
WHAT DID BRONSON XERRI TEST POSITIVE FOR?
Positive for doping tests for banned performance-enhancing substances Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol in 2019.