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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

One of rugby league's biggest stars released by club after failing drugs test

The fullback reportedly tested positive for cocaine days after the Sharks won the NRL.

Cronulla Sharks full-back Ben Barba
Cronulla Sharks full-back Ben Barba

NRL CHAMPIONS CRONULLA Sharks have released Ben Barba after the fullback failed a drugs test.

Barba reportedly tested positive for cocaine only days after the Sharks won a first Premiership title by beating Melbourne Storm in the grand final last month.

Cronulla revealed the 27-year-old playmaker has left the club to enable him to “address some significant personal issues” and had set off to attend “an intensive overseas programme”.

Barba said: “I know and accept I need to take some time away from the game to deal with some personal issues. I am accountable for myself and my actions and if I don’t address them now I will certainly ruin my career and more importantly my life and that of my family.

“As footballers we often find it hard to speak up about having problems, but this decision has lifted so much pressure off myself that I cannot start to explain just how much better I feel by taking this action.

“I hope to return to the game at some stage and am very grateful for the support of the Cronulla Sharks and I hope that one day I can again play beside this terrific bunch of guys.

“I have made some tremendous friendships both within the playing ranks and throughout the coaching and administration teams. This has made it all the more difficult to make this decision but it’s something I just had to do.”

Barba was a Dally M Medal winner, the award give to the NRL’s Player of the Year, while at the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012.

He is considered to be one of the most exciting players in the league, and here is why:


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