Michael Jennings cops three-year NRL ban

Michael Jennings (l) has received a three-year NRL ban after admitting use of banned substances.
Michael Jennings (l) has received a three-year NRL ban after admitting use of banned substances.

Michael Jennings' NRL career is effectively over after the former State of Origin admitted to using performance-enhancing substances.

Jennings on Friday accepted a three-year ban following a positive drugs test last year that derailed Parramatta's 2020 finals bid.

At that time the centre vowed to clear his name, but he has instead waived his right to a hearing before the NRL anti-doping tribunal and admitted to the presence and use of the banned substances.

It follows the completion of the anti-doping process by Sport Integrity Australia.

By admitting to the anti-doping violations after banned substances Ligandrol and Ibutamoren were detected, Jennings was able to reduce his ban from four years to three.

That suspension will be backdated to last September, but he will still be aged 35 by the time he could return to sport.

Ligandrol can be used to build and repair muscles while Ibutamoren also boosts growth hormone levels, with both consumed orally.

One of the most electrifying centres in the NRL when at his peak, Jennings' admission marks a sad low end to a career with many highs.

He played 18 Origins for NSW and seven Tests for Australia, and won a premiership with the Sydney Roosters in 2013.

It was in that year he had his career highlight, scoring a spectacular try in the grand final to seal the win over Manly.

He had returned to form in his final year at the Eels, even earning a new one-year contract after appearing on the outer 12 months earlier.

But his positive drugs test left him stranded on 298 games with 153 tries to his name, and Parramatta stunned just 12 hours out from their semi-final against South Sydney.

They lost, ending their 2020 season, before Jennings was released from the rest of his contract in May this year.

Australian Associated Press