21 May 2009

Maitua faces 2 year ban from league

6:34 am on 21 May 2009

The National Rugby League has suspended Cronulla Sharks forward Reni Maitua for a positive drug test.

The 26-year-old returned a postive sample for the banned substance Clenbuterol, a stimulant used to boost muscle mass and reduce body fat.

Under the World Anti-Doping Authority code, Maitua faces a ban of up to two years.

He has been stood down indefinitely by the NRL but the league says it can't comment on the length of any ban.

Maitua only joined the Sharks in the off-season after being dumped by the Bulldogs for a series of off-field indiscretions.

His positive test is the latest in a series of savage blows for the struggling Sharks.

The club has lost over $150,000 worth of sponsorship in the past week in the fallout from the 2002 sex scandal involving former player Matthew Johns and several others.

It has also been reported that major backer LG will not continue its $1 million-a-season support when its current deal expires at the end of the season.

In January five-eighth Greg Bird was sacked in relation to an assault charge involving girlfriend Katie Milligan, while half-back Brett Seymour was suspended for two games and fined $20,000 for a late-night binge-drinking session.

The debt-ridden Sharks are languishing at the bottom of the NRL ladder, having lost eight straight games.