Bailey Smith, Western Bulldogs, white powder, statement, investigation

Updated: Bailey Smith has on Saturday released a statement amid the Western Bulldogs’ investigation into a series of images of the young star circulating on social media.

Smith, who is serving a suspension for headbutting an opponent, appears to be holding a bag of white powder in one of the images.

“I have recently been made aware of the presence of social media content that shows me with an illicit substance,” Smith said in the statement.

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“In confronting this, the temptation is to speak in vague generalities and avoid the issue.

“However, I am determined to learn the lessons of my past and be a better person in the future.

“After much reflection, I am now in a position to confess to indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed. 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. 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.

“I know I have obligations beyond myself, not just contractually – but in terms of the example I set through the decisions I make, and I will be better.

“I have made mistakes. I am very aware of that, and I fully own it.

“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.”

Smith’s statement followed a media release issued by the Bulldogs.

“The Western Bulldogs are aware of images of Bailey Smith circulating on social media,” the club statement reads.

“The club is investigating the legitimacy of these images and is not in a position to comment further at this time.”

Smith, who is one of the most popular young players in the AFL, has been tied up in a number of off-field controversies over the last 12 months.

He opened up on the toll that has come with his popularity, revealing that he’d even been offered $50,000 to sleep with someone.

A fake ‘nude’ image of his began circulating in the days leading up to last year’s grand final.

The 21-year-old was granted a leave of absence from the club last December due to personal reasons, before returning for the pre-season.

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