Kilted Kiwi banned over alleged cocaine use
NEWS: Edinburgh and Scotland's New Zealand-born flank John Hardie has been handed a three-month suspension for gross misconduct.
This follows an internal investigation amid reports of cocaine use by the former Highlanders and Southland loose forward.
The forward will be unable to play until mid-January, with the suspension backdated to his initial ban, which started in October.
The Scotland international, 29, was expected to be a part of Gregor Townsend's squad for the year-end internationals, but was forced to miss out following the incident and confirmation of his ban makes it unlikely that he will start next year's Six Nations.
"I would like to apologise to everyone for putting myself in this situation," said Hardie.
"Through my actions I feel I have let my club, my teammates and the fans down. I am now focused on putting myself in the best possible position to be considered for selection again."
An Edinburgh Rugby spokesperson, said: "John has co-operated with the disciplinary process throughout.
"He has acknowledged the serious mistake he has made as a professional athlete and has accepted full responsibility for his conduct. It has been made clear that we are not prepared to tolerate the behaviour which caused this situation.
"Support will be provided to the player by Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Rugby on a personal and professional level throughout the period of his suspension and going forward."
Hardie has won 16 caps for Scotland since his debut in 2015 and represented them at the World Cup in that same year.