Home Sports Sydney Swans footy stars who got busted with cocaine learn their punishment from the AFL

Sydney Swans footy stars who got busted with cocaine learn their punishment from the AFL

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Paige Sheppard and Alexia Hamilton (pictured) say they are
  • Paige Sheppard and Alexia Hamilton were caught with cocaine
  • Both Sydney Swans players receive two-match bans
  • AFLW players say they are ‘ashamed’ and ‘regretful’

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Sydney AFLW players Paige Sheppard and Alexia Hamilton say they are “ashamed” and “remorseful” after receiving two-match suspensions for being caught with an illicit substance late last year.

The AFL confirmed on Tuesday the Swans would be suspended for “improper conduct” under the same rule that has been used to ban male players for off-field drug offences.

Police charged Sheppard and Hamilton with possession of an illicit substance while outside a hotel in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in December last year.

The players have since appeared in court and been given 12-month probation orders, with no convictions recorded.

The AFL said Sheppard and Hamilton had admitted the charges when interviewed by the league’s integrity unit after their court appearances.

Despite the season’s significantly shorter length, the duo received two-match bans in line with suspensions imposed over the past three years on AFL players Elijah Hollands, Jack Ginnivan and Bailey Smith for violating the same rule.

Sydney Swans footy stars who got busted with cocaine learn

Paige Sheppard and Alexia Hamilton (pictured) say they are “ashamed” and “sorry” after being caught with cocaine.

Both players will receive two-match suspensions and were handed 12-month probation orders, with no convictions recorded (Paige Sheppard pictured).

Both players will receive two-match suspensions and were handed 12-month probation orders, with no convictions recorded (Paige Sheppard pictured).

Both players will receive two-match suspensions and were handed 12-month probation orders, with no convictions recorded (Paige Sheppard pictured).

Neither Sheppard nor Hamilton will have a strike registered against them under the AFL’s illicit drug policy framework, as it does not currently apply to AFLW players, the league said in a statement.

The incident occurred after the Swans’ season concluded and was not related to a day’s play, unlike the ongoing case of Melbourne AFL player Joel Smith, which involves a positive test for cocaine.

It is understood the pair will be allowed to play for Sydney in VFLW matches before the AFLW season and suspensions begin.

Both could travel to Melbourne with the Swans when they play the first of their five games against the Western Bulldogs on April 6.

AFL general counsel Stephen Meade said the suspensions were appropriate for both players to meet community standards.

“AFLW players, in fact all players, are well educated when it comes to the harms associated with illicit substance use,” Meade said.

“While Alexia and Paige have been extremely remorseful and apologetic for their actions, they have a responsibility to themselves, their clubs, and their professional careers to uphold the community’s expectations.

Neither player will have a strike recorded against them under the AFL's illicit drug policy framework, as it does not currently apply to AFLW players.

Neither player will have a strike recorded against them under the AFL's illicit drug policy framework, as it does not currently apply to AFLW players.

Neither player will have a strike recorded against them under the AFL’s illicit drug policy framework, as it does not currently apply to AFLW players.

1711431510 915 Sydney Swans footy stars who got busted with cocaine learn

1711431510 915 Sydney Swans footy stars who got busted with cocaine learn

Sheppard said he made a “huge error of judgement” (pictured is Swans AFLW coach Scott Gowans)

‘Our review, in collaboration with the AFLPA, of the AFL’s Illicit Drugs Policy continues. The AFL’s expectation is that AFLW players will be part of any future policy. “In these circumstances, both players have been treated in accordance with AFL rules and both public and private accountability are appropriate.”

Sheppard said the incident had been a “huge error of judgement”.

“I would like to express my remorse and apologize to the Sydney Swans family, my teammates, my family and my friends for making this mistake,” he said.

“I am fully aware that I have made a serious error in judgment and I will work hard to regain the respect of my teammates.”

Hamilton said she was committed to regaining the trust of her teammates after the sanctions.

“I am extremely embarrassed and apologize for my actions and the position I have put my family, friends and teammates in,” she said.

‘I understand that I have significantly broken trust and I apologize to our members, fans and club members for this. I accept full responsibility for my actions.’

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