SYDNEY Swans defender Michael Talia has been stood down by the club after being arrested in a police drug blitz on Sunday morning.
Talia, 23, was arrested in Sydney's eastern suburbs and 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, "A 23-year-old man will face court next month after it is alleged he had a quantity of cocaine.
"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.
"He will appear in Waverley Local Court on the 17th August 2016.
"Nothing relevant was found on a 22-year-old man, who was allowed to leave.
"The 23-year-old was one of a number of people detected within Double Bay and Watsons Bay overnight."
Swans general manager of football Tom Harley told media outside the Swans' headquarters on Monday that the club had spoken to Talia, as had the leadership group, to express their disappointment, but they would continue to support their player.
"We, like a lot of footy clubs, hold our staff and our players to really high levels of accountability," he said.
"We've spoken to Michael (Talia), and we've made it absolutely abundantly clear that this allegation is something we take extremely seriously.
"He's given us his version of events but given it's before the courts I won't go into any of that.
"We've taken the path to stand him down as an immediate response. It's not a definitive response; we'll continue to ask the right questions and make sure we get all the facts before we work out exactly what we do going forward.
"As a football club we have a support network for all sorts of situations, and those wheels are in motion at the moment.
Harley said he had great confidence in the club's ongoing education program on illicit drugs.
"It's never ending, it's constant," he said.
"The (AFL) Players' Association, who we've been in conversations with over the past 24 hours, certainly play a significant role in that.
"As a football club, I know that we take a very strong stance on those sorts of things.
"We absolutely have education right at the forefront of the players."
The defender has played just one game for the Swans this season, against Collingwood in round one.
After suffering a severe foot injury against the Magpies he was placed on the club's long-term injury list.
Talia arrived in Sydney from the Western Bulldogs at the end of last year via the trade period after his time at Whitten Oval ended in controversy.
Following their loss to Adelaide in the 2015 elimination final, the Bulldogs asked the AFL's integrity unit to investigate rumours of game-sensitive information being shared by Talia – who wasn't picked for the game – with his brother, Crows defender Daniel, ahead of the match.
The investigation cleared Talia of any wrongdoing but his time at the Dogs ended on a sour note.
AFL general manager football operations Mark Evans said in a statement the AFL would await the court date before determining with the Swans what action the player may face under AFL rules.
"The matter is currently before the courts," Evans said.
"All players remain subject to the AFL's Illicit Drug Policy and any further action will be determined at a later time."
The AFL Players' Association said it had been in touch with Talia and his management to ensure he was aware of legal and wellbeing support available to him.