NRL star Ben Barba could become the first player to win the Dally M Medal, a premiership and the Frownlow Medal after he tested positive to cocaine for the second time in his career.
The Sharks grand final hero returned a positive test shortly after scoring a try in Cronulla’s first ever premiership triumph. This followed previous incidents involving problems with behaviour, alcohol and gambling.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
The elusive full back won the Dally M Medal in 2012, ironically, the same year in which fellow Frownlow nominee, Jobe Watson, won the Brownlow Medal.
Barba joined a long list of NRL heroes who won a Dally M and premiership during their careers, but he would be the first to add a Frownlow Medal to his trophy cabinet.
The Frownlow Medal winner will be announced in October 2017.