Bailey Smith cops punishment from AFL over illicit substance scandal

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Bailey Smith has copped a suspension from the AFL over the illicit substance scandal. Pic: Getty/Twitter
Bailey Smith has copped a suspension from the AFL over the illicit substance scandal. Pic: Getty/Twitter

The AFL has handed down its punishment to Bailey Smith after the Western Bulldogs star's confession over an "illicit substance" scandal.

The 21-year-old admitted to possessing an illicit substance in late 2021 when he "spiralled out of control" amid struggles with his mental health.

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Over the weekend, images surfaced of Smith holding a bag of white powder, with a video showing the 21-year-old at a party also circulating on social media.

In the video, Smith turns away and appears to snort something, before wiping his nose, while a woman next to him asks for a straw.

Smith was interviewed by AFL officials as part of an integrity unit investigation and on Thursday afternoon, handed a two-game suspension for using an illicit substance.

The AFL found Smith guilty of "conduct unbecoming" and also handed him a "notifiable adverse finding", or strike, under the league's illicit drugs policy.

Video and images emerged last week of Smith with a white powder, with the 21-year-old later apologising for "indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed".

Smith admitted to illicit substance use when he was interviewed by the AFL this week.

He is already serving a two-game suspension for head-butting Geelong's Zach Tuohy.

The AFL ban rules Smith out of games against Brisbane and Sydney, on top of the GWS and Hawthorn clashes he is already suspended for.

Seen here, Bailey Smith in action for the Western Bulldogs during the 2022 AFL season.
Bailey Smith is set to miss the next four games for the Western Bulldogs after his latest suspension from the AFL. Pic: Getty

"The AFL confirms Western Bulldogs player Bailey Smith has been found guilty of conduct unbecoming and has been suspended for two matches," the league said in a statement.

"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.

"The AFL found that Smith committed a breach of AFL 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.

"His conduct also constitutes a notifiable adverse finding under the AFL's Illicit Drugs Policy."

Western Bulldogs vow to support young gun

The Bulldogs accepted the AFL's sanction and stressed they would continue to support Smith, who had said the illicit drug use came as he struggled with his mental health.

"Bailey has shown clear contrition and remorse over recent days, and has spoken openly and maturely about his challenges," Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said.

"As we have stated, we do not condone the behaviour in question and remain very disappointed it occurred.

"We are pleased however that Bailey has assumed unqualified responsibility for the mistake he has made and is intent on learning from it.

"We will continue to strongly support Bailey through this difficult period. Our primary responsibility to him and all of our players is to ensure that their health and wellbeing is safeguarded."

with AAP

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