Castleford forward faces two-year ban for steroids

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The Independent Online

A teenage player at Castleford has been suspended for the maximum two years after testing positive for stanozolol, a banned steroid. Rob Lunt, an 18-year-old back-row forward who has yet to figure in the first team, was tested in December, shortly after joining Cas from St Helens.

Castleford said that Lunt would appeal, adding that he was "totally unaware that he had ever taken a banned substance". The club's spokesman, David Smart, said that Lunt had not been given the banned substance by anyone at Castleford. "He feels let down by people he felt he could trust," Smart said.

St Helens and Wigan will face each other at a tribunal over the question of a transfer fee for the prop forward, Ricky Bibey. Both Saints and the 22-year-old front-rower, who joined St Helens this winter, believed that Wigan had agreed to release him, but now his former club is demanding a payment.

Saints will contest that at a hearing on Monday. "If we had known that a fee would be involved it would clearly have affected the situation," said their chairman, Eamonn McManus.

The tribunal called to decide a fee for Lee Sanderson has been cancelled because the London Broncos and his former club, Leigh, have agreed a deal for the transfer of the scrum-half.

Terry O'Connor's testimonial against London on Sunday has been switched from the waterlogged JJB Stadium to Orrell. The rugby union ground has a capacity of only 2,800 and the match has been made all-ticket.

Brad Davis will lead the French club, Villeneuve, against one of his former clubs, York, in the third round of the Powergen Challenge Cup on Sunday. Davis and the former Test stand-off, David Despin, have taken over coaching duties following the resignation of the New Zealander, John Ackland, who has complained that he has not been paid.

Rugby League Ireland, which is trying to set up a summer competition in the country, says that the Irish Rugby Union is trying to ruin their plans by warning clubs not to take part.

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