NRL 1 year ago

Barba rehab 'more than just for drugs'

  • Barba rehab 'more than just for drugs'

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Ben Barba of the Sharks celebrates winnin the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium on September 23, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Ben Barba's rehabilitation in Thailand isn't solely about addressing his recent positive drug test to cocaine but also facing up to other personal issues, according to his manager.

Barba may have played his last NRL game after being released - at his request - by the Sharks to seek rehabilitation in Thailand following his second positive test to cocaine in less than two years.

Barba failed the drug test four days after Cronulla's grand final breakthrough last month.

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The fallen Cronulla star hopes to tackle a range of personal issues as he battles to get his life and career back on track.

"Stepping away from the game is a chance for Ben to work on his personal issues and become the best Ben Barba he can be," his agent Chris Orr told News Corp Australia.

"This is not just about failing a drug test. There are other things he needs to work on and that's his entire life. This is a holistic approach."

Should he return to the NRL, Barba will serve a mandatory 12-match suspension.

"Ben made this decision himself, no one made it for him and in a sense it's released the pressure on him," Orr said.

"He wants to be accountable for his actions.

"There are good people at the Cronulla club and they will support him through this."

Barba admitted to having a severe gambling problem and issues with alcohol after he was stood down by former club Canterbury in early 2013 over behavioural issues.

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