Panthers bad boy slapped with another ban
Penrith Panthers centre Brent Naden will not feature in the NRL until at least Round Five after coach Ivan Cleary slapped the 25-year-old with a four-match ban for his use of cocaine.
Naden tested positive for cocaine use on the night of the NRL grand final and the game's governing body hit him with a one-month backdated ban from training with the Panthers, which expired on January 1.
He had escaped from the NRL's bio-security bubble and used cocaine on the night before Penrith's NRL decider against the Melbourne Storm on October 25.
On top of the one-month backdated ban, the NRL fined Naden $5000 for breaking from the bubble to obtain the cocaine, while the Panthers handed him a suspended $20,000 fine and an official warning.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Cleary didn't impose the suspension until he had consulted with senior players.
Naden will be eligible to play for Penrith's reserves during his NRL suspension.
If he makes a return for Round Five he will face the Canberra Raiders at Panthers Stadium on April 9.