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AFL star Bailey Smith has copped a two-match suspension from the league after videos emerged of the 21-year-old allegedly taking illicit substances.
A clip recently started doing the rounds on social media appearing to show Smith holding a bag of white powder before sniffing the unknown substance.
The Western Bulldogs player was already suspended for on-field conduct in Round 12 meaning the player won’t be back until Round 18 against St Kilda.
A statement from the league read: “The AFL confirms Western Bulldogs player Bailey Smith has been found guilty of conduct unbecoming and has been suspended for two matches.
“Content recently emerged on social media platforms, showing Smith using an illicit substance.
“The AFL interviewed Smith this week who admitted to illicit substance use in late 2021.”
Smith was confirmed to have breached rule 2.3(a) which states: “A Person must not engage in conduct which is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL or to bring the game of football into disrepute.”
The statement continued: “The AFL wishes to reiterate that AFL Players are well-educated when it comes to the harms associated with the use of illicit substances, and have a responsibility to themselves, their clubs and their professional careers to uphold community expectations.”
Following the footage making its way across the internet, Smith released his own statement where he took responsibility for his actions.
“I have recently been made aware of the presence of social media content that shows me with an illicit substance,” Smith said.
“In confronting this, the temptation is to speak in vague generalities and avoid the issue. However, I am determined to learn the lessons of my past and be a better person in the future.”
The midfielder admitted he spiralled following the 2021 Grand Final loss to Melbourne, with his mental health deteriorating leading to poor decision-making.
His statement continued: “The depth of my emotions over that period, coupled with some of my behaviours, have reminded me that, as a person, I am still very much a work-in-progress.
“I know I have obligations beyond myself, not just contractually – but in terms of the example I set through the decisions I make, and I will be better.
“I have made mistakes. I am very aware of that, and I fully own it.
“I unreservedly apologise to my family, my teammates, my club and its sponsors, the AFL, my supporters and my sponsors.
“I have made mistakes, but I resolve to learn from each and to do all I can to avoid letting myself down, and those around me.”
Smith faced no financial sanction from the league.
Featured Image Credit: 9 News Australia. Twitter.
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