Former Newcastle halfback Jarrod Mullen has signed with Queensland Cup team Sunshine Coast for 2021, with his four-year doping ban to end on the weekend.
Mullen, 33, was banned from rugby league in 2017 after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
The ban brought to an abrupt halt a career which included 211 NRL appearances for the Knights and a sole State of Origin game for NSW in 2007.
Last year Mullen was sentenced to 300 hours community service after pleading guilty to one count of supplying cocaine.
Despite his long absence from the game and his off-field dramas, Falcons chief executive Chris Flannery is satisfied Mullen has turned his life around.
"It's all about giving Jarrod a second chance to play rugby league again," Flannery told AAP.
"We've done a very thorough due diligence on him, spoke to a lot of people and then obviously spoke to him a fair bit over the past month.
"We're satisfied he hasn't had a drop of alcohol for the past two years or anything to do with that.
"He's very determined to get back on the footy field."
Mullen's signing isn't the first time the Falcons have thrown a player a lifeline, with Sandor Earl joining them in 2018 after a lengthy ban of his own.
Earl eventually returned to the NRL with the Melbourne Storm, for whom the Falcons are a feeder club.
Mullen's ban officially ends on Sunday, with the Falcons recruit to join his teammates at training on Monday.
"Just looking at him, he looks a million dollars," Flannery said of Mullen.
"He looks fairly similar to when he was playing four years ago.
"It's a long time to be out of the game and we're all going to find out fairly soon just where he's at.
"I'm sure it's a scary time for him, finding out where he sits back in the landscape, but we're just excited to give him an opportunity because we can see how excited he is to get back on the footy field."
Australian Associated Press