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Wigan Warriors' Gabe Hamlin suspended after failed drugs test

Wigan Warriors' Gabe Hamlin suspended after failed drugs test
© Reuters
The club have not divulged the precise nature of the failed drugs test.

Wigan's helter-skelter start to their Super League title defence took another twist when it was revealed that Australian prop Gabe Hamlin has been charged with a UK anti-doping violation.

The club have not divulged the precise nature of the failed drugs test but say the player has been provisionally suspended by the Rugby Football League (RFL) pending the conclusion of the case.

Hamlin, 22, who is in the second season of a two-year contract with the Super League club, is currently on a flight back to Australia.

Wigan Warriors v Sydney Roosters – World Club Challenge – DW Stadium
Wigan prop Gabe Hamlin (left) in action against Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge (Martin Rickett/PA)

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said in a statement: "Wigan Warriors will look to support Gabriel throughout this process until its conclusion and thereafter.

"Gabriel has requested to be closer to his family during this difficult time and we fully support this request."

The 22-year-old Hamlin was signed from South Sydney's Under-20s team on the recommendation of former Wigan coach Michael Maguire and was named the club's young player of the year at the end of his first season in England.

He narrowly missed out on selection for Wigan's Grand Final team in October, but played in all but one of their opening eight matches of 2019, including the World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters.

Hamlin was left out of the Warriors' team for their last match, a 42-0 win over Catalans Dragons on Sunday.

The news compounds a difficult start to the year for Wigan, who have had a suspended points deduction for a breach of the salary cap, went on a five-match losing run and are still waiting to find out if former captain Shaun Edwards will take up their offer to become their next head coach.

Rugby League – Wigan Warriors Press Conference – JJB Stadium
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan says the club will support Gabe Hamlin as he awaits a hearing (Malcolm Couzens/PA)

Lenagan, who had announced last August that the Wales defensive coach had signed a three-year contract, was forced to apologise to supporters for the confusion and the embarrassment.

Nine days ago, Wigan revealed that winger Craig Mullen had been charged with drink-driving and will appear in court later this month.

The Warriors stood by full-back Zak Hardaker following his conviction for drink-driving, shortly after serving a 14-month ban for cocaine use.


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