Bailey Smith banned:Western Bulldogs star midfielder Bailey Smith has been banned for two games by the AFL for “conduct unbecoming”.
The action follows an AFL investigation after the emergence on social media of pictures and video, from late 2021, showing Smith with a bag of white powder at a party — the 21-year-old later admitted using illicit substances.
The ban is in addition to his existing two-match suspension for headbutting Geelong’s Zach Tuohy, so Smith will not be available for the Bulldogs until round 18.
The AFL said in a statement that Smith would also be unavailable to play VFL matches during the period of his suspension.
The Bulldogs accepted the length of the ban and released a statement saying they would continue to support Smith’s wellbeing.
“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 in the statement.
“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.”
Smith has been one of the biggest breakout players in the AFL, playing a key role in the Western Bulldogs’ run to last year’s grand final.
He took time away from the game after the season for mental health reasons and said during that time he made poor decisions, admitting to using illicit substances.
“After much reflection, I am now in a position to confess to indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed,” Smith said in a statement last week after the release of the images.
“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.
“The depth of my emotions over that period, coupled with some of my behaviours, have reminded me that, as a person, I