If everything goes to plan this week Sandor Earl is set to return to the National Rugby League following the ASADA judgment being handed down.
Last Thursday, 749 days since being stood down by the governing body and following numerous injunctions, Earl fronted the doping committee tribunal in an attempt to be cleared for a return to the game where he made 48 appearances for Sydney Roosters, Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders.
It’s been a difficult time for Earl and his family in light of being left out to dry by the National Rugby League. A move to Phuket in Thailand over the past two years has allowed Earl to stay away from the Sydney media scrum pack and learn the trade of running a business, something that will set him up post-career. Not many players have a ‘Plan B’ once they hang up the boots. Earl through trying circumstances does.
Earlier this year Martin Kennedy joined Earl on the outer after being stood down by the Roosters. His notice was issued in late 2013 with reports suggesting he didn’t let his employer at the time, Brisbane Broncos know about his situation. He is facing a two year ban which could see an end to his time in the game.
The Cronulla club have been the main focus of Stephen Dank’s time in the National Rugby League where several leading players including Paul Gallen and Wade Graham were issued with show cause notices and received short bans at the end of 2014.
The best result Earl could get out from this week’s judgment is a two year ban dated back to August 2013. This would see him free to return to the game immediately. Worse case scenario would be that the soon to be twenty-six year old would serve a full four year ban.
Already speculation of Earl’s return has seen him linked with Parramatta Eels or his previous club Canberra. One rumour flying around on social media this week was that the National Rugby League would order Earl to play with the Gold Coast Titans as part of a condition to return.
Earl has a pocket of support from the rugby league community. In particular, Raiders fan Ben Buckley has set up a donation page for Earl to help with covering legal costs.
Buckley said he was inspired to set up the donation page after hearing Earl’s mother Jan on Triple M’s Grill Team in Sydney.
“She detailed a lot of what happened”, Buckley told NothingButLeague.
“She sound’s like a really great woman and I thought ‘how could the average person/fan help out his legal fee’s & get Sandor back on the paddock'”.
Earl has thrown his support behind the page in posting “really appreciate this mate if it is a bad result would love to fight this with a higher power”.
To donate to Sandor Earl’s legal fees head to Go Fund Me website at https://www.gofundme.com/mx4g3gu6.