UPDATE: TOM Liberatore, the son of Bulldogs Brownlow Medallist Tony, has been suspended from the Western Bulldogs for the rest of the season after being investigated over drug allegations. He was found unconscious in a Melbourne street after the clubs’ loss to North Melbourne yesterday morning.
He has also been handed a $5000 fine and ordered to undergo counselling. Police found a small amount of recreational substance.
“I am deeply sorry for my actions and want to sincerely apologise to everyone, especially my family, teammates, coaches, supporters and all those connected with the club, for my stupidity,” Liberatore said in the statement.
“I recognise the huge opportunity I have been given – and feel devastated that I have let my teammates and the club down.
“I will be doing everything in my power to learn from this and to earn back the trust and respect of those around me.”
It is an off-field incident the Bulldogs dearly didn’t need given their below par on-field performances this season.
Liberatore has been one of the Bulldogs’ rising stars over the past two seasons and has been considered a player of the future given his brilliant clearance work out of the midfield.
Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick said the club is disappointed by Liberatore’s actions.
“There is absolutely no place for this behaviour at our football club,” Garlick said.
“To say we are all completely disappointed in Tom, is an absolute understatement.
“We expect Tom to take this time to reflect on his behaviour and the impact it has had on those around him, especially his family, teammates, coaches and all those associated with the club.
“Despite this grave error of judgement we continue to believe that Tom is a young man that has the brightest of futures and we are one hundred per cent behind him during this time.
“Tom has made a mistake – but as one of ours we will help him to learn from this experience and become a better person, and player, for it”.
Image courtesy of aflfootyonline.com.au