Exiled drug cheat Bronson Xerri has been offered a contract by the Bulldogs.
Weeks after it was first revealed Xerri was set to meet with Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo, the club on Friday confirmed it has issued a contract to the former Cronulla star.
The statement came after it was previously reported Xerri had agreed to terms to join the bulldogs for the 2024 season, when his doping ban is completed.
The Bulldogs confirmed Xerri’s contract is a two-year deal for 2024 and 2025.
“The club is continuing to work with the NRL Integrity Unit to ensure full compliance is undertaken, before Bronson is able to return to the sport in November 2023,” the Bulldogs said in a statement.
“The Bulldogs will make no further comment on the issue during this time.”
Channel 9 journalist Danny Weidler originally posted on Twitter: “The Bulldogs build up continues. Expect the club to announce a two year deal with Bronson Xerri. The former Shark will sign on for 24/25 after returning from his drug suspension”.
The 21-year-old hasn’t played a game of rugby league since 2019 after copping a four-year ban in 2020 for illegal testosterone usage.
The disgraced centre had recently hired new management, and it was reported that Xerri had been shopped to several clubs.
Since his last game in the NRL, Xerri has stacked on a lot of size to his frame and it remains unclear if he will aim to return to the NRL as a lightning-quick centre or move into the forwards.
However his former sprint coach Roger Fabri is confident that he’ll return to his full speed by the time he returns back to the competition.
“You’re either born with speed or you’re not. Bronson was born with it,” Fabri told The Daily Telegraph.
“His body shape has changed but, if he really wants to get his speed back, I can guarantee we’ll make it happen.”
Xerri was in 2020 stood down and eventually banned by the NRL after testing positive for various performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone.
Xerri was reportedly the target of an ASADA drug test following a tip-off from a whistleblower, and his initial suspension was announced on the eve of the league’s return from the COVID-19 shutdown two years ago.
He told 9News the background to his provisional doping is not what many have speculated it to be.
“It was a very tough situation. My mental health wasn’t good at the time,” he said.
“It’s not what everyone thinks it is. I made a mistake, and now I have to pay the consequences.”
Xerri last year announced his intention to pursue a carer in the NFL because the league does not follow the protocols of WADA drug testing.
Story Credit: news.com.au