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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 15:24 UK

Wigan Warriors' Hock cleared to train following ban

Gareth Hock
Hock has made 135 Super League appearances for Wigan

Wigan Warriors forward Gareth Hock has been cleared to return to training by the Rugby Football League, two months before his drugs ban is due to expire.

The 27-year-old received a two-year suspension after testing positive for cocaine following Wigan's win over Salford in June 2009.

But the RFL have been advised that a return to club training is consistent with their anti-doping rules.

Hock will not be allowed to play or be paid as a player until 23 June.

Under the terms of the ban, Hock severed all contact with Wigan but has been keeping fit with a personal trainer.

He watched the Warriors' 24-6 defeat by Warrington on Friday, 25 March from the directors' box at the DW Stadium.

Hock is contracted to the Warriors until the end of this season, but Wigan are thought to have prepared a new deal having been impressed by his conduct during the suspension.

Knowing the player Gareth was and can be again, we're really looking forward to getting him amongst us.

Wigan coach Michael Maguire

"It will be nice to have him back," coach Michael Maguire said last week. "I know he's excited about getting back to training and being a part of what we're doing here.

"If you look at him, he's looking all right at the moment. He's training extremely hard on his own.

"He's had bits of contact with various players and they're all talking about what it's like with the new regime here and I think he's really looking forward to it.

"It will take time - it's a long time out of the game - but knowing the player Gareth was and can be again, we're really looking forward to getting him amongst us."

Hock will now be able to spend nearly 12 weeks in training before his playing ban expires, 24 hours before the Warriors' home game against Huddersfield.

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