COLLINGWOOD star Steele Sidebottom has apologised for his breach of the AFL's strict COVID-19 rules after a night of drinking which concluded with police driving him home in a heavily intoxicated state.
The Collingwood leadership group and senior football department staff met with Sidebottom in Perth on Sunday to discuss the 'return to play protocols' for which he was suspended by the AFL for four matches.
The club said in a statement on Monday: "This was the first opportunity to discuss face-to-face with Steele his actions on the night following Collingwood's round four match against Greater Western Sydney."
In that game, Jeremy Howe was seriously injured and Sidebottom and Lynden Dunn spent the night with Howe in an attempt to console the high-flying defender.
Sidebottom and Dunn then shared an Uber and Sidebottom later visited staff member and former player Daniel Wells (who is not living under the game's protocols).
Collingwood said: "At the meeting, Steele formally apologised his to his teammates, football staff and the broader club. He also apologised to Collingwood members ...
"Further, Steele agreed to complete a responsible consumption of alcohol course and to commit time in the service of a charitable or community organisation over the next 12 months."
The club said it now considered the matter closed but it was fuming immediately after the AFL slapped Sidebottom with the hefty ban.
Collingwood said it thought the suspension was "excessive (and) inconsistent with recent protocol breaches and contestable".