Brown tells Knights to stick by Mullen

Jarrod Mullen, of the Knights, is facing a four-year ban.
Jarrod Mullen, of the Knights, is facing a four-year ban. DARREN PATEMAN

RUGBY LEAGUE: Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has told his players not to turn their backs on Jarrod Mullen after his positive doping test.

Brown said the Knights' top priority was Mullen's welfare after his provisional suspension for testing positive to anabolic steroid Drostanolone.

"Jarrod's welfare is everyone's main concern, not what's happened, how it's happened or why it's happened,” Brown said.

Mullen's career is now in limbo.

Under the NRL's drugs policy, he is facing a maximum four-year ban but can decide to have his B-sample analysed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

"I'm sure Jarrod will work out who his friends are in six, eight, 10 weeks time when things do get a little bit more lonely,” Brown said.

"In this time now when it first happens, there's all sorts of people who do appear and they disappear too, don't they?

"I'd like to think his closest mates will be there in six weeks, not so much now. He's got plenty of support now.”

The positive sample came just a week after the 29-year-old aggravated a recurring right hamstring injury.