Police confirm investigation into AFL cult hero Bailey Smith

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·Sports Reporter
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Bailey Smith is under investigation by Queensland Police after a complaint was made against him.
Queensland Police have confirmed Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith is under investigation after a complaint was lodged against him. (Photo by Gary Day/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Western Bulldogs have confirmed star midfielder Bailey Smith is under investigation by Queensland Police after a complaint was lodged against him.

According to police, inquiries have been commenced after a man reported being pushed by the 20-year-old Bulldogs star outside a Gold Coast pub earlier in October.

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No charges have been laid and it's understood Smith has not been spoken to by police.

Smith is believed to have been holidaying with a small group of teammates at the Burleigh Pavilion on the Gold Coast a week after the AFL grand final, which the Bulldogs lost to Melbourne.

After an encounter just after midnight, a man was reportedly taken to hospital.

"Police have received a complaint in relation to an alleged assault of a 22-year-old man at Goodwin Terrace around 12.10am on Monday October 4," a Queensland police spokesperson told AAP.

"The man was transported to hospital for treatment.

"Investigations are ongoing."

An AFL spokesperson told AAP the league had been informed of an incident involving a player by the Bulldogs but based on the information received there would be "no further action" taken at this stage.

Smith is one of the most popular figures in the AFL, developing a huge social media following since he was drafted by the Bulldogs in 2018.

The Bulldogs suffered a bruising loss in last month's grand final in Perth, blowing a half-time lead to eventually lose 21.14.140 to 10.6.66.

Smith's talent is matched off the field, racking up more than 335,000 followers on Instagram - second only in the AFL to Dustin Martin - with his popularity and marketability transcending football.

Taken at pick seven in the 2018 draft, Smith has played all 67 games since debut and kicked 34 goals.

Bailey Smith opens up about troubling impact of social media

Smith has opened up on his struggles with panic attacks in a wide-ranging interview about mental health.

The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the AFL's most high-profile players on the back of an extraordinary finals series.

In a podcast called Common Chaos, the midfielder admitted he has had to manage his mental health from an early age.

Current AFL players have spoken about their struggles in the past, but rarely has someone so young detailed their experiences in such a frank way.

"Something that's been helping me recently when I'm having panic attacks, or just having a down day, is the sun will rise tomorrow," Smith told hosts Cartia Mallan and Ashton Wood.

Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith has become a fan-favourite on Instagram, but the 20-year-old says the massive following has taken a toll on his mental health. Pictures: Getty Images/Instagram
Western Bulldogs star Bailey Smith has become a fan-favourite on Instagram, but the 20-year-old says the massive following has taken a toll on his mental health. Pictures: Getty Images/Instagram

"I started taking medication, that's something I didn't do for such a long time because I didn't want to be weak.

"I just had this weird thing in my head where I wanted to do it myself and it'd be so much more rewarding if I get through it and I don't need medication.

"I bit the bullet and understood and accepted that I wasn't right at the time, I wasn't well.

"It opened up so many doors for me, in terms of school, my education went through the roof and then football.

"I think I was 15, it's pretty young, but I started being really in tune with how I'm feeling and why am I feeling this way.

"I was lucky just because my mum was good at helping me do that, because at the time she was obviously a lot more emotionally intelligent, and still is.

"In terms of wanting to be successful, it just helps you with whatever you want to do."

With AAP

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