SEAN PENKYWICZ was today facing the sack by Huddersfield Giants after becoming the second player in six weeks to be banned for two years for testing positive for the banned steroid stanozolol.
The 23-year-old Penkywicz was handed his suspension after a 90-minute hearing in front of a Rugby Football League advisory panel in Leeds.
Only last month former Huddersfield, Wakefield and Castleford hooker Ryan Hudson was banned for two years after pleading guilty to taking stanozolol.
Hudson was subsequently sacked by his new club Bradford and a similar fate awaits Penkywicz, an ever-present for the Giants in 2004.
Huddersfield officials are refusing to be drawn on their next course of action at this stage - Penkywicz has been staying away from the club since it was announced he was to attend yesterday's hearing a fortnight ago - but they admit they are today considering the player's future at the Galpharm.
"In light of last night's decision, we are considering the club's position in relation to Sean Penkywicz," said Huddersfield general manager Richard Thewlis.
Penkywicz was today unavailable for comment, although a statement has been issued by his Leeds-based solicitor Richard Cramer.
"He is shocked and devastated," said Mr Cramer.
"He is very disappointed the tribunal didn't take into account the very powerful mitigation and we will take time to reflect. He may well appeal.
"Rugby has been his life since he was 16, it's the only thing he knows. He has a partner and a nine-month child and has just bought a house with a mortgage.
"The financial consequences are devastating because he has nothing to fall back on."
Penkywicz's ban was backdated to March 11 and the player, who took the test during a club training session on December 17, was ordered to pay costs.