Sydney Roosters star Mitchell Pearce says he has given up alcohol, after returning to Australia following treatment in an overseas rehabilitation facility.
The 26-year-old half-back was stood down by his NRL club after a drunken escapade and a lewd act involving a dog on Australia Day surfaced in a video.
After the video emerged, Pearce apologised and admitted he had a problem with alcohol.
He spent four weeks in a treatment facility in Thailand.
Pearce said today that he was nervous about his commitment to changing his lifestyle.
“I’ve got fear about how I’m going to stick to things,” he said.
“But if I’m true to myself, alcohol won’t be involved in my life.
“I’ve got fear about how I’m going to handle stuff, how I’m going to come back, how people are going to take me.”
Pearce said he had identified the “humiliation” alcohol had brought to his life.
“The main thing I’ve realised is that alcohol hasn’t affected me in a positive way in my life. It’s brought a lot of humiliation,” he said.
“It’s brought a lot of good times as well.
“I’m not going to say that I don’t like drinking beer and I don’t like a good time.
“At this present moment, I’m a non-drinker and that’ll be the way I’ll be living my life.”
Pearce hopes to restore trust of NRL followers
Pearce said he hoped he would be able to restore the trust of NRL followers, his teammates, and his family over time.
“There’s going to be plenty that will never like me. There’s going to be plenty that won’t forgive me,” he said.
“Hopefully there’ll be some that will respect me because I can be honest and accept my responsibility, and, in time, be consistent about it.
“I’m a broken record at the moment.”
Despite his acknowledgement of his actions, Pearce said he was not an alcoholic and simply had “an alcohol problem”.
It is not yet known how long the Roosters player will be sidelined before returning to the NRL, though he is likely to discover the outcome this week.
Pearce is expected to receive a six-week suspension and a $50,000 fine.
Earlier today, the NRL’s women’s adviser said Pearce’s career should end.
The NRL season kicks off this Thursday, with the Roosters playing their first game on Sunday.