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Eels star Michael Jennings stood down after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs

Parramatta's finals campaign has been rocked after Michael Jennings was stood down for testing positive to performance-enhancing substances.

Michael Jennings. Source: Photosport

Just hours out from their semi-final against South Sydney, Jennings was this morning provisionally suspended by the NRL after a test last month.

It's alleged the 32-year-old tested positive to both Ligandrol and Ibutamoren on September 21, both of which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Ligandrol is the same drug Australian swimmer Shayna Jacks famously tested positive to last year and has since denied knowingly taking.

The drug is used to build and repair muscles while Ibutamoren also boosts growth hormone levels, with both consumed orally.

Jennings is yet to speak on the matter but will have the chance to have his B-sample tested at his request.

"Michael Jennings has been stood down from today's game and ongoing training/playing responsibilities while the process runs its course," Parramatta said in a statement.

"The club has been in contact with Michael and has offered him and his family our full welfare support as he deals with this situation."

The test result leaves the former NSW and Australia Test centre's career in the balance just a week out from what could have been his 300th NRL game.

Jennings also returned positive tests to metabolites of the two drugs, with the offence carrying a four-year ban.

He was doorknocked by Sport Integrity Australia agents early this morning, after the test result was uncovered yesterday.

The Eels were shocked by the news this morning.

Jennings remains a senior figure in their squad and had only been re-signed until the end of 2021 earlier this season.

He was made available to media recently as this week and spoke openly on how he was trying to fix his team's backline defensive woes.

His absence comes at the worst possible time for the club.

They are already without wingers Blake Ferguson and Maika Sivo for tonight's semi-final, with Haze Dunster now a chance to make his debut in a makeshift backline.

His brother George Jennings will also have to play with the drama playing out in the background, having been recalled for Sivo.

That could prove particularly daunting, with the Rabbitohs having run rampant on the edges in recent weeks.

The incident is the second drugs scandal to hit the NRL in 2020, with Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri fighting to clear his name after being stood down in May.

Former NRL hooker James Segeyaro is also fighting to clear his name after returning a positive sample to Ligandrol last year.