Swans’ Talia stood down following drug charge
AFL: Sydney Swans defender Michael Talia has been stood down by the club after allegedly being found in possession of a drug, reportedly cocaine, yesterday morning.
The 23-year-old has been charged with being in possession of a quantity of a prohibited substance and will appear in Waverley Local Court next month.
A NSW police spokesperson told AFL.com.au: “Today (Sunday) police from the Rose Bay proactive crime team were patrolling Knox Lane at Double Bay.
“It will be alleged they saw two men enter an alcove in a laneway. A subsequent search of the pair found a small plastic bag, alleged to hold cocaine.
“A 23-year-old was issued with a field court attendance notice for the possession of a prohibited drug.
“Nothing relevant was found on a 22-year-old man, who was allowed to leave.”
AFL general manager of football operations Mark Evans said in a statement the AFL would wait for the court case date before deciding with the Swans what action the player might face under AFL rules.
The Swans, however, had no such compunction.
In confirming the suspension, Swans general manager of football Tom Harley said the club was taking the matter very seriously.
“It’s extremely disappointing to have one of our players in this situation,” he said.
“Given the seriousness of the charges we have made the decision to stand Michael (Talia) down from training and club activities as we gather the facts.
“Our decision is in no way a reflection of judgement, but rather an interim measure as the matter is investigated by police.
“All of our players are educated about drug use and the AFL’s illicit drugs policy, as well as our club’s firm view on drug issues.
“We will work through this matter with Michael from a legal, welfare and education perspective to ensure he receives the necessary support.”
Talia, who came to the Swans from the Bulldogs at the end of last season, has not played since suffering a severe foot injury against Collingwood in round one.
The AFL Players’ Association said it had been in touch with Talia and his management.