Thurston concerned over Segeyaro’s wellbeing

NRL champion Johnathan Thurston has appealed to the rugby league community to be mindful of James Segeyaro’s mental wellbeing after he tested positive to a banned substance.

Fox Sports reported that the Broncos hooker has been provisionally suspended for returning a positive A-sample for Ligandrol, a non-steroidanabolic agent popular with bodybuilders after he was tested on September 3.

He now has the chance to have his B sample tested, and a positive result would automatically trigger a four-year ban from all WADA compliant sports.

However, Thurston, who played with Segeyaro at the Cowboys in 2011 and 2012, said people can be too quick to judge an individual’s circumstances.

“We don’t know what’s going on with each individual or what they’re going through and what they’re putting themselves into,” Thurston said on Friday.

“His mental wellbeing is what we need to watch now and there's been a lot of criticism of players throughout the year and you don’t know the effects it has on players’ mental wellbeing. We’ve seen a lot of players now come out and support mental health campaigns because they’ve been put through the ringer for certain things, so hopefully he’s all right and he comes out on the other side.

“He made his debut at the club I played at, I’ve watched him grow, he’s a likeable character and people love playing alongside him so we just have to make sure his mental wellbeing is good and hopefully he can come out the other side of it.”

Segeyaro, 28, arrived at the Broncos this year on a one-year deal, but now his NRL career is in the balance.

Prior to signing with the Broncos he was off-contract and working as a barista when Cronulla didn’t extend his contract beyond the end of 2018.

The news broke on Thursday night, just three days out from a blockbuster grand final between the Roosters and the Raiders on Sunday.

Thurston, who retired at the end of the 2018 season, said it was far from a good look for the game at the most exciting time of the year.

(AAP picture)