League: Earl discovers more to life than sport

By Hayley Byrnes

Sandor Earl.
Sandor Earl.

Sandor Earl this month returned to his Sydney home for the first time since September.

In August, Earl's world unravelled as he was outed for the use and trafficking of the performance-enhancing drug CJC-1295.

A few days after the revelation Earl flew to Phuket - a man without a plan, a career or a future.

Fast forward three months on and you'll find a content Earl.

"I was thinking I was going to stay on but I thought I wouldn't be able to as I'd have to go back and face Asada issues, which obviously hasn't been the case," said Earl from Chalong, Phuket.

"It's just a great place to be, mentally. No one gives a stuff about league here".

League was once Earl's livelihood. While some still argue he was more known for his looks than his performance, no one can argue he was starting to make some progress. The shoulder injuries that had plagued him were behind him and he'd just signed to play rugby in France.

Then came the NRL charges. Now he is waiting for the results.

"I figure I've dealt with enough this year, so what's a couple more months of waiting for a result," he says. "I understand why it's taking so long; it is a complicated case with weird circumstances. I'm hanging out to know the result, I just want to know how long the ban will be so I have some sort of direction and can plan ahead."

Does Earl feel resentment about the case?

"Being away from the game has been such a wake-up call and I appreciate it.

"My head is in a really good place," he said. "It taught me about the people who are in my life. That would be the No1 thing I learned. It's that's whole footy culture; trying to live up to being someone that perhaps you're not, chasing the limelight."

For now, Earl has a new world. He's opened his own shop, Muscle Bar, a project he conceived from the beginning. He works up to 12 hours a day, manning the shop, whipping up organic protein balls or stocking the shelves with protein bars.

"Well, we don't sell Protein Powder," he says with a laugh in reference to the type of products that got him into such grief.

But there is still unfinished business with Asada, leaving Earl with an uncertain future.

"It's funny how life goes, everything really does happen for a reason and I'm sure when the time comes I can use everything I've learned to benefit my return to the field," he said. "I mean, it could be worse."

- NZ Herald

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