Bailey Smith will ‘tell the AFL he was snorting cocaine in video’ and accept a ban: Star will return to Bulldogs on Monday and ‘won’t need more time off to deal with mental issues’
Bailey Smith is expected to admit to the AFL he used cocaine and accept a two-week ban, after footage of him appearing to snort a substance emerged on Saturday.
Pictures circulating over the weekend showed the Western Bulldogs star holding a bag of white powder.
It was soon followed by a video that appeared to show him snorting an unknown substance in a nightclub.
Smith is just 21 but is already at a career crossroads. He has owned up to his mistakes and has vowed to work on creating a better version of himself
Smith and the Bulldogs subsequently confirmed the white powder he was photographed holding in a small bag was an illicit substance and the 21-year-old apologised for ‘indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed’.
According to the Herald Sun, Smith will accept it was him who appeared in the video taken at a nightclub on the Gold Coast and the substance he snorted was cocaine when he meets the AFL’s integrity team
While his show of contrition is unlikely to spare him a suspension, it could at least convince the AFL show some leniency. The fact the incident was not the first time the Bulldogs gun was involved in drug-taking episodes is also expected to factor in the AFL’s decision.
According to the report, a two-week ban is the most likely outcome which will rule Smith out until Round 18, as he’s about to start serving a two-week suspension for headbutting.
The footage shows Smith (with his back to the camera) appearing to snort an unknown substance in a nightclub
The Dogs star then turns around and grabs his nose. He has now confessed that he used illicit drugs in the aftermath of the club’s grand final loss last year
Under AFL rules, players only receive strikes when they fail a drug test during the season or when they are caught publicly taking drugs.
‘I have made mistakes. I am very aware of that, and I fully own it,’ he said in a statement released on Saturday.
‘I unreservedly apologise to my family, my teammates, my club and its sponsors, the AFL, my supporters and my sponsors.
‘I have made mistakes, but I resolve to learn from each and to do all I can to avoid letting myself down, and those around me.’
Images of Smith holding up a bag of white powder emerged on Saturday, before he and the Bulldogs admitted the powder was an illicit substance
The incident occurred during the AFL off-season after the Bulldogs Grand Final loss and before Smith took personal leave for mental health-related issues.
According to the Herald Sun, Smith has been ‘rocked’ by the revelations that emerged over the past two days, but he is not expected to need any more time away from the game to deal with personal issues.
In his statement, the Bulldogs star noted his mental health had ‘dramatically deteriorated’ in the weeks leading up to the incident.
Smith will begin serving a two-week ban for headbutting an opponent from this round
‘I do not have an excuse for those behaviours, however the state of my mental health over that period post Grand Final dramatically deteriorated, and I spiralled out of control leading to poor decision making and actions at the time,’ he said.
‘All of this resulting in the leave I took from football at the commencement of pre-season training late last year.
‘The depth of my emotions over that period, coupled with some of my behaviours, have reminded me that, as a person, I am still very much a work-in-progress.’
Smith is expected to train with the Bulldogs as usual at Whitten Oval on Monday.