Widnes Vikings half-back Rangi Chase has been suspended with immediate effect after testing positive for cocaine, the club have confirmed.
In a brief statement on Thursday night, the Vikings – who begin their Qualifiers campaign at home to Warrington on Friday – confirmed that they had been notified by UK Anti-Doping and the RFL that Chase tested positive following their recent defeat to Wakefield Trinity.
They said: “Widnes Vikings received notification from UK Anti-Doping and the Rugby Football League today that Rangi Chase tested positively for cocaine in a drugs test, following the recent fixture against Wakefield Trinity.
“As a consequence, under Rugby Football League anti-doping regulations, he has been suspended from all training and playing activity.”
Widnes also said they ‘respected the decision’.
They said: “The club fully respects this suspension and are currently reviewing this matter. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Chase only signed for the Vikings earlier this year after leaving Super League leaders Castleford. He had only recently agreed to a permanent deal with the club for 2018.