Cunningham is banned as test reveals hormone

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Keiron Cunningham, the St Helens and Great Britain hooker, has been given a suspended ban after testing positive for a prohibited substance.

Traces of the hormone substance HCG were found in a urine sample and he was fined £2,500 by an independent panel, although he was not initially named and the ban was suspended for a year because of mitigating circumstances.

The Rugby Football League also named Matt Calland after he provided a sample containing nandrolone and was given a six-month suspended ban while playing for Huddersfield. He has since retired.

St Helens' chief executive, Sean McGuire, said of Cunningham: "This matter, along with the career-threatening injury that Keiron suffered, has placed a great emotional burden on him for the last year.

"Keiron has shown immense mental and physical resolve in regaining fitness and rebuilding his rugby league career, and we are confident that he will re-establish himself as one of the leading players in the world."

Cunninghamplayed in the first match of the three-Test series against New Zealand in November but then suffered the elbow injury which kept him out for the first three months of this season.