New Zealand Warriors rugby league players, banned from playing for the Kiwis and dropped to reserve grade, admitted to mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks on a night on the town, after they were part of the 42-0 loss to Melbourne Storm on Anzac Day.
The players have also been punished for breaching club standards, amid concerns for their health.
New Zealand Rugby League interim chief executive Alex Hayton confirmed to New Zealand's Radio Sport that his organisation was given information from the Warriors that Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Bodene Thompson had mixed prescription drugs and energy drinks.
"It's an issue we had back after the  World Cup.
"We have a stance we've taken on this so, based on the information we've had from the Warriors, the decision was made not to select those players."
Vatuvei, Matulino and Thompson were ruled out of Friday night's Test against the Kangaroos in Newcastle, when the club prevented them from being selected.
Sam Lisone (Samoa), Konrad Hurrell and Albert Vete (Tonga) were also ruled out of playing for their countries.
Warriors managing director Jim Doyle on Monday reaffirmed the club's position on the players who were disciplined last week.
"We're continuing to deal with this internally, focusing on player welfare.
"We won't be going into any details and we won't be making any further comment," he said.
Use of prescription drugs on social occasions has been a mounting problem for rugby league.
"In talking with the hierarchy at the Warriors I am aware of the detail and that doesn't fit our protocol either," Kearney said.
"So from our point of view we made a decision in conjunction with the Warriors. That is important to be clear about.
"It is important that Test match football is the pinnacle of our game. But if there are issues at club level that we certainly don't agree with either then we will make the appropriate decisions accordingly."
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/...rug-claims-20160502-gojxth.html#ixzz47TDKDeq3
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook