Wallabies prop and Queensland Reds captain James Slipper has been suspended by Rugby Australia (RA) for two months for testing positive to cocaine.
RA boss Raelene Castle said it was Slipper’s second positive test and he was informed of the ban last Thursday at a tribunal hearing.
Castle says she knew that Slipper was experiencing difficulties in his personal life, but that there is no place for illicit drugs in sport.
“It is with great regret that I feel it necessary to explain recent events. Unfortunately, I am unfit to personally address these issues today,” Slipper said.
“I’m well aware that I will need to address these issues publicly and the questions associated with it and will do so as soon as I’m fit and ready.
“I have been suffering wellness issues including depression for a year and have been receiving professional assistance for the last few months.”
Castle says Slipper was experiencing difficulties in his personal life, but that there was no place for illicit drugs in sport.
“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,” she said.
“We are ensuring that James is receiving full help and support, including specialist medical treatment”.