The girlfriend of Sydney Swans rookie Elijah Taylor has spoken out about breaking the AFL’s biosecurity rules to see him in the club’s quarantine accommodation in Perth.
Taylor, 19, has been suspended for the rest of the season after his girlfriend entered the Swans’ COVID-19 hub accommodation in Perth when she was not authorised to do so.
‘WEAK AND EMBARRASSING’: Anger over star's 'disgraceful' act
‘HORRIFYING’: AFL ditches Aboriginal flag for Indigenous Round
The Swans have also been fined $50,000 for the breach, with $25,000 suspended and $25,000 included in their 2021 soft cap.
On Tuesday night, Taylor’s girlfriend Lekahni Pearce broke her silence on the scandal.
The 18-year-old said gaining access to Taylor was “easy” and claims she didn’t see any security guards.
“No security, I didn’t see a security guard,” she told 7NEWS Perth.
“I just walked through, went to his room. That’s how easy it was.”
Pearce reportedly had to cross a golf course and jump two fences to get into the Joondalup Resort, a claim she denies.
“I am sorry for everything,” she said. “And like, we did make a really big mistake.”
Taylor also spoke out about the incident on social media on Tuesday night, revealing he’s received racial abuse from fans as a result.
“Honestly I’m extremely sorry for being selfish with my actions,” he wrote.
“I know what I’ve done not only affected me and the players but many others that all love the game.
“I understand that a lot of people are angry but racism really doesn’t fix anything.”
WA Premier fuming over Sydney Swans breach
Pearce and Taylor were reportedly discovered by two senior Swans players, who notified head of football Charlie Gardiner.
The AFL has since apologised to Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan.
“It’s very disappointing,” McGowan said on Sunday.
“The AFL gave us every assurance this wouldn't happen. The Swans have let us down, the AFL has let us down. We're disappointed in both organisations.
“I received an apology from the AFL this morning. I appreciate that but ... they promised us this wouldn't happen and they let us down.”
WA Police have notified the Swans that 19-year-old Taylor can continue his quarantine with the team, while his partner will also be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Swans coach John Longmire said Taylor had been warned about the consequences of potential breaches.
“We talked to Elijah specifically before we left and made sure that we all understand what environment we’re going into,” Longmire told AFL 360.
“He still made a very poor choice, he still made a decision to deliberately breach the quarantine and it’s unacceptable, and the ramifications are very much suited to what he did.
“It was a decision that put so much at risk. He’s only a young player, he’s in his first year of AFL footy, but it was still a terrible decision that has big ramifications.”
AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said the AFL’s protocols are the competition's licence to play and any clear breach will not be tolerated.
“The actions by Elijah not only breach the AFL's protocols, but made it a police matter by breaching the Western Australian COVID-19 quarantine directions,” Dillon said.
“When in quarantine the rules are clear and there is no excuse for this breach.”