Wigan Warriors prop Gabe Hamlin charged with "UK Anti-Doping violation"
Wigan Warriors prop Gabe Hamlin has been suspended by the RFL after being "charged with a UK Anti-Doping violation".
The 22-year-old is on a flight home to Australia to be closer to his family after learning he had been charged.
It is unclear the exact nature of the violation.
Wigan confirmed Hamlin's suspension in a short statement tonight.
It read: "Wigan Warriors can confirm that they have been informed by the Rugby Football League (RFL) that Gabriel Hamlin has been charged with a UK anti-doping violation and has been provisionally suspended by the RFL pending the conclusion of the case. Hamlin is currently on a flight back to his native Australia and will not be available for selection whilst subject to the suspension."
A spokesman for the RFL confirmed Hamlin has been suspended. It is understood Hamlin will now have a chance to respond to the charge but a time-frame is unclear.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: “Wigan Warriors will look to support Gabriel throughout this process until it’s conclusion and thereafter. Gabriel has requested to be closer to his family during this difficult time and we fully support this request.”
Hamlin, a compact front-rower, joined the Warriors from South Sydney's Under-20s on a two-year deal on the recommendation of former Wigan coach Michael Maguire and ex-player Pat Richards.
He was named the club's young player of the year at the end of his first season in England and only narrowly missed out on selection for Wigan's Grand Final team in October.
He played in all but one of their opening eight matches of 2019, including the World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters, but was left out of the Warriors' team for their last match, a 42-0 win over Catalans Dragons on Sunday.
His suspension is the latest drama for Wigan in the early part of this season which has included a salary cap points deduction and appeal, the Shaun Edwards coaching saga, fringe player Craig Mullen being charged with drink-driving and a poor start on the pitch.
The club will stage their weekly press conference at 1pm tomorrow when more details of Hamlin's suspension may emerge.