AFL investigating ‘extremely serious’ assault claims against young Swan
The AFL's integrity unit is looking into assault claims made against Sydney Swans player Elijah Taylor by the woman who was involved in the club's COVID-19 protocol breach last month.
Taylor's Perth-based ex-girlfriend made the allegations on her Instagram account on Saturday evening. The posts have since been removed for breaching the platform's guidelines.
Sydney youngster Elijah Taylor is the subject of ‘very serious’ allegations, according to the Swans. Credit:Getty
A spokesperson for WA Police declined to comment on Sunday when asked if an official complaint had been made against Taylor. No charges have been laid.
The Swans have referred the matter to the AFL, whose integrity officers have begun looking into the accusations.
"The allegations are extremely serious," the AFL said in a statement. "The AFL has been in contact with local law enforcement and will continue to provide support and assistance for all.
"Due to the nature of the allegations the AFL will be providing no further comment at this time."
The Herald and The Age is not suggesting the allegations are true, but merely that they have been made against Taylor.
The AFL integrity unit generally does not investigate a matter while a police investigation is ongoing.
The Swans described the claims as "very serious and are being treated as such" in a statement late on Saturday.
"The club has notified the AFL and is not in a position to comment further at this time," said club statement.
Sources close to Taylor indicate that the pair split up shortly after they were found to have broken Sydney’s strict quarantine requirements during their stay at the Joondalup Resort in Perth.
"Elijah, the club and AFL are all aware of the allegations, however given the seriousness and sensitivity for those involved, we're not in a position to comment further at this stage," Taylor's manager, Tom Seccull of Hemisphere Management Group, said.
Taylor is serving a six-match suspension for breaching of the AFL's return to play protocols after his ex-girlfriend entered the club's accommodation when the team was supposed to be serving a 14-day period of quarantine.
The Swans were hit with a $50,000 fine, half of which was suspended, with the other $25,000 to be included in the club's soft cap on football department spending for 2021.
Taylor's actions were strongly rebuked by WA Premier Mark McGowan, while the youngster was also abused on social media just days before the start of the AFL's Indigenous Round.
"Honestly I'm extremely sorry for being selfish with my actions," he wrote.
"I know what I've done not only affected me and the players but many others that all love the game. I understand that a lot of people are angry but racism really doesn't fix anything."
Taylor, who apologised in person to his teammates, did not fly with the Swans to their hub in Cairns, with the club deciding it was best for him to remain in Perth with friends and family.
The youngster, who was taken with pick 36 in last year's draft, was handed the club's famous No.37 worn by Swans great and dual Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes, and was presented his jumper on debut by champion forward Lance Franklin.
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