Michael Jennings to leave Parramatta Eels

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Parramatta have announced banned centre Michael Jennings will leave the club effective immediately.

The 33-year-old was suspended on the morning of the club’s semi-final against South Sydney in October after testing positive to the banned drugs Ibutamoren and Ligandrol, the same substance allegedly ingested by Australian swimmer Shayna Jack.

“The Parramatta Eels and Michael Jennings have today agreed to bring to an end the terms of Mr Jennings’ playing contract,” the club said in a statement.

“Mr Jennings is the subject of an ongoing process with Sports Integrity Australia (SIA).

“Mr Jennings has been with the Eels since 2016 and based on its experience with Mr Jennings over the last five years, Parramatta does not consider that Mr Jennings would intentionally take performance enhancing substances.

“However, in recognition that the SIA process will take some time to play out, Parramatta and Mr Jennings have agreed to part ways because Mr Jennings wishes to allow the team to fill his position and have the best 2021 and 2022 seasons possible.  

“Parramatta and Mr Jennings respect the integrity of the SIA process and do not propose to comment further at this stage.”

A former State of Origin and Australian representative, Jennings joined the Eels in 2016, having previously played for both Penrith and the Roosters, where he scored the final try in the club’s 2013 premiership victory.

He was reportedly on a $400,000 per-year deal with Parramatta.

“I am totally against any form of cheating in sport and am completely shocked to find myself in this position. I will do everything I can to clear my name,” Jennings said in a statement in October.

“I have dedicated the last 14 years of my life to playing in the NRL. I would never do anything to jeopardise my standards, my reputation, or the legacy I leave, especially for my son.”

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