‘Embarrassed’: Wallaby breaks silence on cocaine ban
REMORSEFUL Wallabies prop James Slipper says he's sorry and embarrassed after serving a two month drug ban and while he's not fully fixed, he's happier than in a long time.
The 86 Test prop returns to rugby on Friday for an Australian Super Rugby selection team trial against the Wallabies in Sydney.
Slipper received the ban and a $27,500 fine on May 24 after violations of the Rugby Australia illicit drugs policy, twice testing positive to cocaine.
The 29-year-old former Reds captain has had to deal with personal issues including his mother being diagnosed with a terminal condition.
"I've let a lot of people down and I couldn't be more sorry for that and more embarrassed for what I've done," Slipper said on Wednesday.
"I've obviously gone through a bit of a rough patch and made some poor decisions and I probably wasn't coping with certain aspects of my life that I was going through at the time.
"I've had to address quite a few things, its probably something that is going to have to stay with me for a while, continually trying to work on myself to become a better person and a positive outcome.
"But at the time I didn't see a healthy ending there for a bit.
"I'm not all fixed, as they say, but I'm working hard and seeing the professionals and going well.
"I'm as happy as I've been in a long time so that's probably the most important thing."
Asked if the suspension had been a wakeup call, Slipper said: "It brought it to a head, it forced me to step away from the game and deservedly so.
"It forced me to have a real good look at myself and seek professional help."
He was shocked but grateful for the chance to play on Friday.
'With how tough things were its been good to get around the players again," Slipper said.
"I'm a rugby player and that's what I enjoy doing but just to be welcomed back here and help the Wallabies prepare for a Bledisloe game is pretty humbling to me."