'Recollection isn't great': Startling truth about AFL player's virus breach

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Collingwood's Steele Sidebottom is pictured during an AFL training session.
Collingwood's Steele Sidebottom is facing suspension after breaching the AFL's strict coronavirus guidelines. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says a confused Steele Sidebottom doesn't have a clear recollection of his COVID-19 breach after drinking too much alcohol.

Sidebottom and teammate Lynden Dunn broke protocols by taking an Uber late on Saturday night following a visit to the house of injured defender Jeremy Howe.

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After dropping off Dunn, Sidebottom then took the Uber to the house of Magpies staff member Daniel Wells, which was another breach given that Wells isn't part of Collingwood's COVID compliant bubble.

Police then took Sidebottom home on Sunday morning after finding him in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown.

Buckley said Sidebottom's alcohol consumption on Saturday night meant the star midfielder couldn't quite recall all of the details of the night.

"Speaking with Steele, he's quite embarrassed about the situation," Buckley said.

"He's obviously remorseful about the decisions that were made but he's also in some way confused about what has taken place.

"At some point obviously with his drinking he's made some poor decisions, but his recollection isn't that great.

"He hasn't been drinking as regularly (recently). In conversations with him, he's probably hasn't been consuming as much alcohol, and one of the theories is he wasn't able to handle what he consumed at Howey's place.

"They're all details that try to explain in some way what has happened in the evening, or Steele's understanding of it.

"He's embarrassed and very contrite as you would understand."

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Sidebottom could receive a ban of up to four AFL matches for the breach.

Melbourne's Charlie Spargo received a two-match ban for attending a house gathering earlier this month, and Buckley feels Sidebottom's punishment should fall into that category.

Buckley expects Dunn to cop a one-week ban.

Star Port Adelaide midfielder Ollie Wines was suspended for the Power's thumping Showdown win against Adelaide in round one after allowing a television news crew in his home for an interview.

Melbourne pair Spargo (two games) and Kysaiah Pickett (one), as well as Essendon defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (one) were also given bans for breaking protocols.

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