HUDDERSFIELD Giants player Sean Penkywicz is today facing an uncertain future in rugby league.
The Rugby Football League yesterday announced that the 23-year-old would face an advisory panel on Wednesday next week after testing positive for the banned substance Stanozolol.
If found guilty, the Leigh-based Super League hooker or half-back faces a two-year ban and the threat of being sacked by the club.
Last month, former Huddersfield, Wakefield and Castleford hooker Ryan Hudson was found guilty of taking the same performance-enhancing steroid. He picked up the maximum two-year punishment.
He was then immediately sacked by his new club, Bradford Bulls.
Giants' officials refused to be drawn on what action they are considering to take, although they have confirmed Penkywicz will be staying away from the club until the outcome of the April 20 hearing is known.
In a statement issued by Giants' general manager Richard Thewlis 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.
"Sean will be staying away from the club until the outcome of the hearing on April 20 is known.
"There will be no further comment on this matter by any club official until the investigation is finished and the hearings are complete."
Penkywicz joined the Giants from Halifax at the start of the 2004 season. He made 32 appearances and scored eight tries.
This season he played in his club's opening four top-flight fixtures and scored a try in the opening 30-12 triumph at Leigh.
But he has not played since coming on as a substitute in the 54-10 home defeat by Leeds Rhinos on March 6.
Ironically, the Giants have improved dramatically since then, winning four of their last five Super League games.
* Stanozolol is a man-made steroid
* It is similar to the naturally-occurring male sex hormone testosterone
* It is used in the treatment of hereditary angioderma, which causes swelling of parts of the face and body
* It is taken to bulk up muscles
* Side-effects include difficulty in breathing, swelling of the arms or ankles or, in the worst cases, liver problems.