John Hardie: Scotland flanker suspended from duty for alleged cocaine use

Edinburgh flanker John Hardie
Hardie started Edinburgh's Challenge Cup win at London Irish last week

Scotland flanker John Hardie's suspension from Edinburgh and Scotland duty is because of alleged cocaine use, BBC Scotland understands.

Scottish Rugby announced on Friday that Hardie would not be considered for selection pending an internal investigation.

The union said in a statement that it was "unable to comment further given the nature of the investigation".

Hardie will be omitted from Scotland's squad for the autumn Tests on Tuesday.

It is understood Hardie, 29, has not failed any drugs tests.

It is the latest disciplinary issue to rock Edinburgh, with captain Magnus Bradbury already suspended pending the outcome of an internal hearing into how he suffered a head injury on a night out after Edinburgh's recent Pro14 win over Zebre.

Open-side Hardie has won 16 caps since his debut in August 2015, which preceded him being drafted into Scotland's 2015 World Cup squad five weeks after arriving in the country from New Zealand.

A series of injuries, and the form of fellow Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson, have limited Hardie to just three Scotland appearances this year, the last on the summer tour against Fiji.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend is already without two key players for the forthcoming Tests with Samoa (11 November), New Zealand (18 November) and Australia (25 November).

Injured Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown has joined captain Greig Laidlaw in being ruled out of all three internationals.

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