NRL veteran Michael Jennings is determined to win The Frownlow Medal before he hangs up his boots and earned his fourth nomination for the award after testing positive for two banned substances.
The Parramatta Eels centre may have played his last game in the NRL as he has been ruled out of tonight’s elimination final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs and could be banned for many years if his B samples also test positive to Ligandrol and Ibutamoren.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.
Jennings had his phone and laptop confiscated by officials from WADA on the morning of the game against the Rabbitohs. Unconfirmed reports claim that Jennings told the officials he created the controversy in order to finally win the Frownlow after three previous failed attempts. In 2016, 2018 and 2019, the former Origin player made bids for the award with actions such as:
Being dropped from Penrith for arriving at training under the influence of alcohol
Being fined $10,000 for drinking
Being arrested and charged with offensive behaviour
Being accused of kicking a boom gate while drunk
Being accused of intoxication and bad behaviour at a Sydney nightspot
Pressing ‘like’ in reaction to Israel Folau’s famous homophobic social media post.
Jennings has publicly denied the charges and will not face consequences until the B sample test results are returned. One of the substances he is accused of taking is a growth hormone, and experts suggest that the premiership winning player was trying to grow a brain.