HUDDERSFIELD Giants player Sean Penkywicz's rugby league future was today hanging in the balance.
The talented 23-year-old hooker or half-back was facing a Rugby Football League hearing this afternoon after testing positive for the banned substance Stanozolol.
If found guilty, the Leigh-based Super League star faces a two-year ban and the threat of being sacked by his club.
Two months ago, Bradford Bulls hooker Ryan Hudson was found guilty of taking the same performance-enhancing steroid and picked up the mandatory two-year punishment. The former Giants man was then immediately sacked by the Bulls.
Giants officials have refused to be drawn on what action they will consider taking if Penkywicz is found guilty, although he has stayed away from the club since it was announced he was having to attend today's hearing a fortnight ago.
In a statement issued by Giants' general manager Richard Thewlis at the time, the club said: "We can confirm the club has, and will continue to, liaise with and facilitate both the RFL and Sean Penkywicz as the process of the investigation set up by the RFL runs its course.
"There will be no further comment by any club official until the investigation is finished and the hearings are complete."
In a separate disciplinary case, St Helens coach Ian Millward has been found guilty of breaching the RFL's regulations concerning coaching technical areas at the Powergen Challenge Cup fixture against the Giants on April 3. He was fined £100, with £15 costs.
But Giants coach Jon Sharp remains under investigation by the RFL's Disciplinary Commissioner over comments he made about the handling of the same Cup-tie by referee Ronnie Laughton.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, are continuing to gear for Sunday's home Super League clash with St Helens (3.00).
Besides preparing his squad for this weekend's assignment, Sharp will be checking out the Senior Academy who are in action at Keighley tonight (7.30).
Giants Academy: Hull; Fagborun, Squires, George (L), George (M); Hemingway, Mennell; Houston, Garside, Holdworth, Senior, George (S), Bower. Subs (from): Wilkinson, Hutchinson, Walker, Tillotson, Hulme.