Revealed: Five other Broncos tested with Segeyaro

 

THE entire Brisbane Broncos squad was warned about the dangers of banned substances in the wake of Queensland swimmer Shayna Jack's doping scandal, months before hooker James Segeyaro's own drug test shock.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Broncos bosses privately issued the warning to players after Jack returned a positive test in July to LGD-4033, or Ligandrol, forcing her withdrawal from that month's FINA world championships in South Korea.

On Tuesday, September 3, five weeks after the warning, Segeyaro was asked to submit to a drug test after being randomly selected by Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority officials at a Brisbane training session.

Segeyaro's A sample showed a positive result to the substance that has sidelined Jack, prompting the NRL to provisionally suspend the hooker on Thursday night after talks with the Broncos and ASADA chiefs.

James Segeyaro tested positive to Ligandrol. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
James Segeyaro tested positive to Ligandrol. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Broncos hierarchy are understood to be shattered at the outcome given the club-wide lecture to players and the subsequent Segeyaro fallout, which has tainted the proud club's previously unblemished doping record over the past 31 years.

Board member Darren Lockyer was among six powerbrokers, including chief executive Paul White, who were notified of Segeyaro's doping offence on Thursday night.

Lockyer, Brisbane's most-capped player, was stunned by the scandal and fears Segeyaro could pay a heavy price if ultimately found guilty.

"I'm certainly shocked," he said.

"This (a doping offence) hasn't happened before in the Broncos' history so it's disappointing in that regard.

"As a board we received notification. There's a process that has to happen now and as a club we have to digest it.

"It's hard to say much more until we get some details around what's happened."

Broncos chief executive White made contact around 8pm on Thursday with Segeyaro, who is holidaying in Europe.

Segeyaro was offered assistance but advised White he would see out his holiday before returning to Australia next week.

Sources have told The Courier-Mail Segeyaro was shocked and insists he did not deliberately use a performance-enhancing substance.

League great Johnathan Thurston says he is concerned for the wellbeing of his former North Queensland teammate.

"First and foremost, we need to check on his wellbeing," he said.

"He'd just started to get his football back in check with the Broncos and this is a huge blow to him.

"Hopefully he's getting all the help that he needs. It's not a great look for the game."

It can also be revealed five other Broncos were tested on the same day as Segeyaro. Those tests came back clean.

Like all NRL clubs, the Broncos use approved supplements, with players regularly seen at training consuming protein shakes.

The Broncos regularly batch-test all supplements and keep records of every product dispensed to players.

Club records show all testing to be free of any banned substances under the WADA code.

The Broncos' only other doping scare came in 2001.

In his biography, star prop Shane Webcke revealed he tested positive for probenecid after the opening game of that season.

He had suffered a knee infection and was treated with the substance.

ASADA and the NRL dealt with the matter in-house, with Webcke escaping a ban after ASADA accepted that Brisbane's club doctor made a mistake in failing to register the prescription.

 

 

But Segeyaro will not receive such dispensation if his B sample shows no signs of contamination.

The former Cronulla hooker only joined the Broncos in May and played 13 games this season.

"It's a shame for Segeyaro," Lockyer said.

"He's a likeable guy and he had fitted in well with the playing group.

"But if the B sample is proven to be the same as the A, it will be disappointing for James and the club.

"If James has broken the rules, there will be consequences."