Stade Francais backrow forward Hendre Stassen has been provisionally suspended by the French Anti-Doping Agency after failing a drug test after a Top 14 match in May, the club announced on Friday.
The 21-year-old South African, who played for the Bulls before joining Stade Francais in October, failed the random test after his side’s 42-25 defeat at Montpellier in the penultimate round of the regular season.
“Without prejudging the rest of the procedure, and pending further investigation and development of the ongoing procedure, Stade Francais has decided to allow Hendre Stassen to take the time to organise his defense and suspend his involvement with the club,” said the club in a statement.
“Stade Francais attaches the utmost importance to sports ethics and makes the fight against doping a constant priority.
“The club will cooperate with all relevant bodies and will accept the conclusions of the proceedings.”
The suspension marks further trouble for Stassen who is currently the subject of another police investigation in South Africa after he allegedly assaulted 26-year-old dentist Markus Botes outside a Pretoria nightclub during the early hours of June 15.
Botes required corrective surgery prompting the charge to be elevated to the more serious crime of assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm.
It also represents another setback for Stade coach Heyneke Meyer, who is also dealing with a player exodus as well as allegations of being a “dictator”.