Tom Liberatore
Tom Liberatore

Western Bulldogs midfielder Tom Liberatore has been suspended for the rest of the season after being caught with an illicit substance by Victoria Police on Sunday morning.

The 20-year-old was found unconscious by police in the early hours of Sunday morning in possession of what the club has called 'a small amount of a recreational, illicit substance'.

Liberatore - son of former Bulldogs great Tony - cannot play or train with the club for the rest of the 2012 season and has been hit with a $5,000 suspended fine.

He will also attend counselling and education sessions and must engage in full-time employment for the next six weeks.

The midfielder, who has averaged 20 disposals in his 33 matches for the club, apologised for his actions on Monday.

"I am deeply sorry for my actions and want to sincerely apologise to everyone, especially my family, team-mates, coaches, supporters and all those connected with the club, for my stupidity," Liberatore said in a club statement.

"I recognise the huge opportunity I have been given - and feel devastated that I have let my team-mates and the club down. I will be doing everything in my power to learn from this and to earn back the trust and respect of those around me."

Western Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick was disappointed with the incident but added that the club will fully support Liberatore during a difficult time.

"There is absolutely no place for this behaviour at our football club," Garlick said.

"To say we are all completely disappointed in Tom, is an absolute understatement. We expect Tom to take this time to reflect on his behaviour and the impact it has had on those around him, especially his family, team-mates, coaches and all those associated with the club.

"Despite this grave error of judgement we continue to believe that Tom is a young man that has the brightest of futures and we are one hundred percent behind him during this time.

"Tom has made a mistake - but as one of ours we will help him to learn from this experience and become a better person, and player, for it."

Sportal

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