Wallaby prop James Slipper banned for positive cocaine test
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia test prop and Queensland Reds captain James Slipper has been suspended for two months for twice testing positive for cocaine.
Rugby Australia said in a statement Thursday that Slipper returned the positive tests from urine samples taken between February and May.
Slipper was also fined 27,500 Australian dollars ($20,800).
The 28-year-old Slipper has played 86 tests for Australia since 2010 and 95 matches for Queensland's Super Rugby side. The suspension means Slipper will not be available for the Wallabies' three-test series against Ireland in June.
A tribunal hearing said it took into account Slipper's "personal circumstances, his service to club and country and previous good character," when it considered the fine.
It did not give any further details on Slipper's personal situation. Australian media reported that Slipper has been depressed recently because he has a family member going through cancer treatment.
Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle says: "We are extremely disappointed to be in this position today with one of our most senior international players having submitted two positive tests for cocaine. We are fully aware that James is dealing with very significant personal issues and we have been working with him since February on these matters."