England Rugby League international suspended after testing positive for cocaine use
Widnes' former Man of Steel Rangi Chase has been suspended after testing positive for cocaine.
The 31-year-old former England stand-off, whose career has been blighted by controversy, failed a drugs test after his last appearance for the Vikings in their 36-8 home Super League defeat by Wakefield on July 14.
A statement from the club said: "Widnes Vikings received notification from UK Anti-Doping and the Rugby Football League today that Rangi Chase tested positively for cocaine in a drugs test, following the recent fixture against Wakefield Trinity.
"As a consequence, under Rugby Football League anti-doping regulations, he has been suspended from all training and playing activity.
"The club fully respects this suspension and are currently reviewing this matter. There will be no further comment at this time."
The news is a blow to Widnes as they prepare to embark on their bid to ensure their Super League survival.
Chase was one of eight players due to return to Denis Betts' team for Friday's opening Super 8s game against Warrington at the Select Security Stadium but he now faces an uncertain future in the game.
The New Zealand-born half-back made a big impact on his arrival at Castleford in 2009, after starting out his professional career in the NRL with Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra, but first courted controversy when he switched his allegiance to England in 2011, less than a year after playing against them for the Maoris.
Chase was crowned Man of Steel in 2011 and played for England in the 2013 World Cup before being dropped for the semi-final.
He left Castleford under a cloud and went on to play for Salford and Leigh but failed to see out his contracts at both clubs and returned to Castleford mid-way through last season, later signing a new deal for 2017.
However, Chase was the subject of two separate internal investigations by the Tigers, who eventually lost their patience and agreed to allow him to join Widnes on loan.
Chase made six appearances for the Vikings and on July 7 made the move permanent by signing a two-year contract.