St Kilda recruit Jake Carlisle has arrived back in Melbourne to face the music after leaked video of him snorting white powder thrust the Saints into damage control.
Carlisle cut short his US trip and landed back in Melbourne on Friday, less than 48 hours after video of him sniffing the unidentified powder was made public.
Carlisle’s trade from Essendon to the Saints was finalised on Wednesday, with the damning footage he shot of himself in a Las Vegas hotel room appearing on the Nine Network that night.
The 24-year-old quickly issued a public apology for his actions but was lambasted by St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis on Thursday.
He returned to Australia after crisis talks with club officials, including coach Alan Richardson.
“I can’t think of a worse start to a relationship with a new club but he’ll have the chance to win back that trust,” Finnis told Triple M.
“(But) from our point of view the trade’s been done, he’s a St Kilda player, and when he walks through our door we’ll take responsibility for turning him into a better player as well as a better person.”
Carlisle has reportedly already met with club officials but won’t be able to front onfield leaders for a while yet.
The leadership group is on leave until November 23, with skipper Nick Riewoldt not due back until the new year, as the veteran enjoys extra time in the US with his family.
The leadership group discussed the issue via telephone hook-up as the scandal unfolded, with Finnis describing them as “filthy” over the incident that became public after Carlisle uploaded the video to social media app Snapchat.
Finnis expects Carlisle will be subjected to targeted drug testing on his return.
It remains to be seen just what sanctions will be imposed but Finnis agreed Carlisle has a lot of work ahead of him to win back broken trust.
“I’ve been around football long enough to know that people make mistakes and everyone’s bullet-proof until they take a bullet,” he said.
“But this would at the far end, I’d reckon, of the most foolhardy things I’ve seen.
“Jake, to his credit has put his hand up, but he’s got to be accountable for that and that’s what will happen.”