BREAKING: Kurtley Beale suspended from Blues match for drinking

Matt Rowley May 9, 2013 55

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Gilbert -

Punted

This just in from the Melbourne Rebels.

“Following discussions between the Rebels and the ARU it has been agreed that Kurtley Beale will be stood down from playing in this weekend’s match against the Blues in Auckland.

Kurtley has breached behavioural guidelines that were set by the ARU, Rebels, and RUPA, which were agreed to in full by Kurtley.

The relevant parties will meet to discuss any future course of action in relation to Kurtley.”

It’s understood that Beale went drinking after the Chiefs match last weekend, against team orders.

A history of "just relaxing" on  Weds nights

From 2012: a history of “just relaxing”

The news is a bombshell for both The Rebels and Wallabies, because having showed the talent we know he possesses to score an amazing solo try from the bench last weekend, this latest development would appear to be either:

A) Beale telling the Rebels to get stuffed

or

B) A sign of a much more deep-seated problem with alcohol.

Or both.

What now for Gilbert – was this ‘one for the road’ at the Last Chance Saloon?

It certainly raises a critical question for the Wallabies management.

Putting to one side his clear off-field behavioural problems, if the Rebels were to rip up his contract which they would surely be in their rights to do (keeping in mind the open rumours that he’s off to the Tahs next year) that would leave him uncontracted to an Australian team.

Would this make him ineligble to play in the Lions series regardless of the selection issues caused by this latest suspension?

Discussion

  • Antony

    Fuuuuuuuuuck.

    • Try_ranosaurus Rex

      SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT

      • Muffy

        DAAAAAAAAAMN

        • bumnuts

          DUUUUUUUUUDE

        • Scotty

          Noooo Waaaayyyy

        • Spaldo

          Yes way

  • Gottsy

    you really have to question if he actually wants to be playing rugby

  • RedsHappy

    If true, this is a sad and disappointing outcome for all involved.

    But a number of us privately worried that the so-called rehabilitation and ‘punishment’ process looked highly flawed when it was openly made known to the media that, during this process, KB was off socialising and ‘paddle boarding’ together with Robbie Deans.

    If so, this was no substantial punishment and rehab process if a player, after serious multiple matters of both in-team and out-of-team assault, is within the rehab process permitted easy contact with Wallaby selector/coaches etc. What real message of seriousness and real punishment does that convey, let alone what it conveys to other players in terms of KB’s seeming ‘special status’ and so on and how the ARU conducts its ‘punishments’.

    • Ryanno

      I think it shows that his national coach and the ARU care about this bloke and want him to get better. For all the BS that goes on about what Robbie and does and doesn’t do I think this shows that he cares deeply for his players and wants them to do well. How else do you explain Robbie taking the time to help him get fit and healthy, it’s hardly socialising, it’s more like a mentoring role.

      • RedsHappy

        The ‘mentor’ role by Deans may be true. I don’t for one minute agree though that that’s the proper role after numerous serious transgressions for someone who is in part KB’s direct boss and whom will have a key role in selection him for national representation or otherwise. The mentoring for KB should emanate from parties not in a position of power over KB or that he could directly or indirectly derive a sense from that mentoring or such like ‘if you keep engaging with me, this is really not so serious after all’.

        As anyone who’s had to deal with serious, and worse, serial, offences by valuable employees such as this in companies or other institutions knows, the notion of genuine warning as to the consequences of further breaches of trust and responsibilities has to be utterly real, and absolutely meant in every way. Yes, compassionate support as relevant, but unless there is hard reality around the actual possibility of total loss of position, income, privileges etc as an outcome for serial unacceptable behaviour (as is the case sadly with KB), the risk is real that the person concerned flees from the truly hard choices they have to make and deep down assesses they’re important or valuable enough to get away with the same offence again and again, along with yet another ‘warning’.

        If someone in a position of very senior power in the offender’s organisation grants the offending person direct access to themselves for joint recreation or even mentoring the risk is that such action is interpreted by the person receiving that privilege that indeed they can enjoy special access to their bosses and that accordingly the threat of total loss or contract termination is diluted or open to continual, multiple ‘final warnings’. Further, superiors need to be extremely careful that any engagement with the offender does not create a view amongst other team members that this person is being granted special privileges in relation to the offending action and its actual or potential consequences. This point is no fantasy of mine: this is precisely where there have been extensive media reports of many senior Wallaby players historically resenting and disagreeing with what they saw as indulgent and over-generous treatment of, as a group, KB, QC, and JO’C. And it’s in this zone that friction can accrue of a kind that can negatively impact the cohesion and shared values of the team, etc.

        • Spaldo

          A well thought out post, a good challenge to the argument, and an even better response to it.

          Unfortunately, in the era of the “interwebs”, this can become a “too long, don’t read” exchange (I.e. TL;DR). The message is still clear:

          TL;DR:

          If someone is in trouble, no matter HOW concerned everyone is, DON’T make the mentor the same person as the boss. The extra attention will validate the “special status” of the offender, and will piss everyone else off, quite rightly.

        • Dave

          You obviously think his repeated indiscretions demand a harsher, more permanent punishment and if not dealt with unambiguously he will never be brought into line. But has he been given “multiple final warnings” like you imply that haven’t been acted upon? Have the consequences of his indiscretions not been made clear to him? He has after all been stood down for what is in itself a rather minor incident. Punishment, no matter how severe, is hardly ever an adequate solution to impulse related problems – much less an effective persuasion. If he does have a problem with alcohol, and it appears that he does, no amount the punishment, threatened or otherwise, is likely to convince him to stop. These types of problems are often larger than concern about loss of “position, income, privileges etc”. It is after all larger than the embarrassment of all this being played out in the media. So your solution of punishing him more and stopping the “special treatment” doled out by his coach, would probably be as ineffective as leaving him to own devices. It could even have the opposite effect.

          But besides all this, I think you are making too much of Robbie Deans as Kurtley Beale’s “mentor”. He went paddle boarding with him ffs. He’s not taking him to mountain retreats, rehab or moving in with him so he can keep midnight vigils over the child. His approach – at least the ones that we are aware of – seem minimal at best. But surely what this personal involvement, small or otherwise, says to the players is that the guy that normally gives them unimpeachable instructions also cares for their well being – a more positive and realistic outlook than your rather cynical conclusion that it builds resentment within the team because they feel like they would never be as loved quite as much as the undeserving KB. I’m sure that no-one else in the WBs is crying over never having gone paddleboarding with Robbie.

          No one player is the same. Some players need “mentoring” and others need to be left alone. I imagine that RD, for all his faults, is good enough to judge which type of person Kurtley is. He’s been a coach for far too long not to be. (Or perhaps just for far too long)

          Regarding favouritism. I don’t think any wallaby has spoken out about favouritism given to these individuals, have they? There have been rumblings tantamount to them being thought of as “special” but more in the line of how they thought of themselves, not how they were treated by their coaches.

  • roges

    Can I raise the question as to whether or not the staff from the Rebels and ARU are doing their job well enough?

    Yes in the end it comes down to the individual and in this case it seems that KB is struggling with becoming a star at such a young age. But where are the mentors/leaders in the ranks of the Rebels and/or ARU?

    Rugby organisations around Australia need to start employing administrators that are going to rule with an iron fist. We need people who are either going to sit a player down and read him/her the riot act then give them the support needed. Then another indiscretion means a ban or expulsion full stop.

    I’m a massive fan of KB but enough is enough!

  • cantab

    Hope he enjoys rugby league, seriously the ‘Tahs can’t be looking to sign him?

  • Scott Allen

    That is very sad news, both for KB and for rugby.

    • seandking

      There’s a lot of anger in these posts about him letting the rugby community down and they’re mostly on the mark.

      At this point it’s a bigger issue of player welfare / health and he needs to fix the alcohol problem before something tragic happens. Boys, booze, cars, late nights etc…. it’s only a matter of time before something irreversible happens.

      Part of the social contract within Rugby, regardless of his professional status, is too help him – which seems to be happening. KB leaving Rugby would be bad but watching him self destruct in league or elsewhere is infinitely worse.

      Looks like he needs a Plan B career wise for his own well-being.

  • david baldwin

    I cant believe that people are even troubled by the possibility of Beale getting pumped from the game – its time the ARU sent a message – show some god damn respect for the club, country and fans or piss off!!! He made his choice after accepting his last chance recently so its time to go. I guarantee that players wont be anywhere near as inclined to behave so poorly again for the near future. He is extremely over-rated anyway and can I say that their is some serious upside to this – MASSIVE!!!!

    If Beale was eligible then he would surely slot into 15 with Folau on the wing and JOC at 10. With Beale hopefully gone then Deans is likely to put Folau at 15, JOC on the wing and Cooper at 10.

    • PM

      David the reason so many people are troubled by the possibility of him being being punted from the game is because he is a sensational, exciting and gifted player and when on song the best fullback in the world.

      Who wouldn’t have some sort of remorse about that.

      You have no heart and obviously a hypocrite given you want Cooper in the team despite his disciplinary issues and public disrespect of the team and guernsey.

      • david baldwin

        PM – incorrect!!!

        I HAD remorse for KB – however he only has himself to blame. He was bigger than Matt Dunning last year and still played for the Wallabies – and poorly I might add, he disrespected himself, the team, the country and the fans!!! in addition to this he has a drinking problem, assaults his captain and teammate and then despite the best efforts of many parties, breaks the rules not even 24 hours after being returned to the team.

        Cooper was disciplined but the difference is that he was remorseful and apologised and has not put a foot out of line since! Yes Cooper broke a fundamental rule of Rugby – breaking the team ranks – but as far as I can remember he only said what most australian rugby fans were saying on forums such as these!!

        Why is it that Cooper is held to a higher standard than French players in the RWC who openly rebelled against their coach? But I digress (and so do you), for this discussion is not about QC.

        I have no time and or sympathy for players who make mistakes, dont apologise and then make them again – without apologising again!!! Clearly you dislike QC cause most sane people would forgive him for exercising poor judgement in criticising his coach – who is killing the game in Australia by the way.

        Beale WAS a good player but for the sake of the game he needs to go – if not for good then for the rest of the year. He clearly has some issues and needs an extended break.

        My point PM is that the ARU needs to take a stance. JOC disrespected the Wallabies by blowing off the RWC launch, QC was out of line and Beale cannot stop drinking and does not comprehend the effects his drinking has. Unfortunately for some and for Beale it just so happens that he seems to lack the will or ability to fix the problem and the ARU is close, or at least they should be, to setting an example.

        • PM

          Lets agree to disagree, everyone is entitled to their opinion mine of which he doesn’t deserve to be punted, he needs the help of which were not in a position to prescribe, he is a great player and I dearly don’t want him to be lost to the game.

          In relation to your responses para by para:
          1. He is being punished and team bust ups happen all the time
          2. Cooper broke rule 1 and basically punched and disrespected 21 team mates, the coaching and mgt staff and all fans.
          3. As per para 2
          4. Im quite sane mate. Cooper actually criticised the wallaby environment and refused the honour of representing his country
          5. That’s your opinion
          6. Beale needs help which he should continue to receive it, in rugby you support each other, look at zac Guildford.

        • david baldwin

          Agree mate – we disagree!!

          That is not a team bust up – that is far more considering comments from other players suggest that this is not the first time.

          Cooper did nothing of the sort, he neither punched nor disrespected his teammates – his criticisms were levelled at Robbie alone. bit of a stretch to suggest that he punched and disrespected his fans and the management and the remaining coaching staff. We all know that Deans runs the show in an autocratic way so his comments can only be levelled at Deans, not the other coaches, not the management and especially not the fans – quite the long bow!!!

          Not suggesting you aren’t sane, just feel like Cooper has apologised, been punished once and will be again (if indications that Robbie wont pick him against the Lions are correct) and should not be continually hung out to dry.

          I agree – in Rugby you do support your team mates but if someones actions are so deliberate and poor they must be removed. I digress but this is a perfect example of how Australia has a long way to go in terms of being a great country – to many people pander to the minority and are far too soft on key issues. in KB’s case getting KB “right” should not come at the expense of the greater good and that is the team heading in the right direction and establishing a sound culture. Its not acceptable for an 18 year old in any walk of life to assault people and continue to abuse alcohol, why should it be any different for a Rugby player, especially one in their mid 20′s. If he has not figured it out by now he most likely never will. In rugby you support your team, you do the best for the team, the team comes first, their is no I in team, no one person is bigger than the team, a team is much more than the some of its parts – no matter which way you look at it its time for KB to realise these simple truths!!!

          In my opinion!

    • Steve O

      He’ll leave Cooper out regardless. Robbin will put his pet Barnes at fullback.

  • Dougall

    Sad to hear, he looked great for the time he had on the pitch last weekend.

    He and O’Connor remind me of Genia and Cooper on the pitch, they don’t just know where their other half’s are, but where they are going to be, something only great players have.

    For me, its KB that is going to keep Cooper out of the backline. 10.O’Connor 14.Folau 15.Beale, but if he doesn’t change soon, it’s hopefully going to be something like 10.Cooper 14. O’Connor 15. Folau.

  • Piggy

    I presume this is Quade’s fault…

  • Pedro

    I don’t know why he goes on twitter. Send a text or better yet call, don’t leave evidence of stuff that might get you in trouble. Everyone else understands this except people in the public eye for some reason.

  • http://ihaveissu.es Christian Biggins

    And he woulda gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you pesky kids!

  • Cpt Crow Eater

    Why would he stop???

    He has said himself he doesn’t think he has a problem with alcohol. Sure he’s not making very good career decisions, but as Gagger mentioned maybe he is telling the Rebels in no uncertain terms that he’s off next year.

    If Robbie Deans has told him already he will get picked for the Lions regardless, what need would there be to change his behaviour???

  • Rebelution

    This has got beyond pathetic. Firstly it was Cipriani pissing around for our first season and a half, and now it is Beale. If you are not interested enough to come down to Melbourne and earn the big dollars you are playing for, go back home. These clowns have absolutely no right to compromise the club, the supporters or the city. Whilst it may be small, there is a solid core of people here who live and breath the Rugby and want nothing more than to see the Rebels develop a sustainable place in the sporting market and become consistent and competitive, as the Melbourne Storm have eventually managed to achieve (as well as the Sydney Swans up north). How on earth is that going to happen when people with their sort of character are costing spots in the side? It seems that all that the AFL biased news reports about the Rebels are the scandals.

    It appears more and more probable that Beale won’t be around next year, so I’d love to somebody flashy recruited, but also with character. Rabs and Higgers seem to be going alright in Melbourne, and I think players like Delve and Pyle and the absolute sole of the team.

  • Noizey

    If he really does have an issue with alcohol, and not just self discipline, it’s a long a tough road where relapses are bound to happen. I am not sure if a sporting organisation is equipped to help this bloke if that is the case, and even whether they should be for all of their good intentions. If its just a stage that many young men and women his age go though, maybe some tough sanctions will help…maybe not. Hope he knows what is at stake…

  • Dally M

    Can’t see Cheilka wanting him for the Tah’s. Apart from the fact he clearly wouldn’t fit the culture he has established, where would he play? Foley is the 10, Folau the 15.

    • cantab

      Exactly, Cheika took over a team with a huge talent base which was not performing anywhere near its potential. He has talked about changing the attitude/culture of the ‘tahs as being key to this and has backed his words up with actions, such as dropping Drew. Given resent results it seems he has made at least some progress and potentially ‘leaps and bounds’.

      To sign a guy like Beale who has as much natural talent as anyone but lacks the mental application and would be detrimental to any teams culture would be a huge step backwards. The ‘tahs need to be getting away from highly talented under performing players not shelling out big bucks for more.

      • dave

        difference maybe that at the Tahs Kurtley would think twice about his actions because pissing off Michael Cheika is completly different to pissing off the rebels coach – i mean with Cheika ttere is always the threat of being physically harmed – kurtley doesnt need PC rehab sessions – he needs Cheika to stare him down a bit

        • ooaahh

          gold!!

        • Nick

          What rubbish: not funny or true. The poor (rich) guy needs genuine help.

        • dave

          help ? … like in what form would that take Nick ? …Hi Kurtley, come on in, take a seat mate. So hows it been going, you had a chance to perhaps give some of the things we talked about some thought ? …thats good to hear Kurtley. So today we are going to talk about some of the issues we broached on last session ie respect for others, appreciation for what you have, bla bla bla blah blah.

          Nick, what I am suggesting is he needs some PAIN ATTACHED TO HIS CONSEQUENCES to learn like the rest of us. Not more luxuries and cotton wool.

          He needs Cheika to tell him he is acting like a puss, to get over himself or fuck off. If its not alchohol it will be some other BS excuse…..And Cheika will do it too.

          If Beale isnt humble enough or intelligent enough to realise what he has then do you really think this GENUINE help you recommend will make a difference ?

          If so can you enlighten me and others as to what form this would take …specifically ? Not be cynical here just damn curious.

  • rebelpirate

    players come and players go…the game is bigger than the individual…the wallabies and Australian rugby will survive this…the game and the passion of the fans does not have to be held to ransom by players like this…I bought Platinum tickets to support the Wallabies, Australia and the players making their dreams come…have no time for flops…let him go to League or boxing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/will.johnson.75098 Will Johnson

    Cut him loose. He’s talented but there will be better players than him with better attitudes coming through the ranks that will make better use of the chance to represent the country.

  • ben

    Reminds me of that league convert walker. All the talent to burn but got issues. These boys dont know what they got. Youth is wasted on the youth.

  • jay-c

    would love to know more facts> apparently he was at the melbourne
    storm game – was he boozed or just have 1 or 2? doesnt really matter if
    he’d promised to stay off it>
    who are his mates he was out with?
    kb obviously has a problem- true mates would swear off the booze with him and make sure this kind of thing wouldnt happen- gutless yes men that really dont care about the welfare of their mate.
    sad and disapointing indeed.

    • REDinCPT

      i agree that more facts are required and his behaviour must been looked at. it appears that his only foul was having a few drinks and that there was no incident.
      i hope that the aru and rebels do not cut off their nose to spite their face.
      alcohol addiction, like all other addictions, is not easy to ween yourself off from, especially when being forced to go cold turkey.

      by all means he should be punished if he’s had a couple of drinks when it was agreed that he wouldn’t, but tossing him to the footpath is a touch harsh.

    • ScrumJunkie

      Maybe his mates realise he needs more than a slap on the wrist, or he’ll never get better.

      Maybe they think the only way rebels and wallaby management will take KB’s problem seriously enough, is if they see he can’t stop.

      Or maybe they got belted by KB recently and couldn’t give a stuff what he does.

  • mxyzptlk

    This seems like it has to be somewhere more along on the crash-and-burn side of the spectrum than the get-stuffed side. He was being courted by the NRL before this season, and had stated that the reason he didn’t go was that he wanted to play for the Wallabies against the Lions. Playing against the Lions was his main reason for staying with rugby.

    If that’s really the case, then I can’t imagine active self-sabotage was part of his Wallabies-Lions plan.

    • dave

      to say that he is staying “just for the Lions” is disrespecful too dont u think ?

      You just dont say things like that if u are diehard rugby union – its like saying playing for the wallabies in a normal season wouldnt have been appealing enough.

      i thought blokes who played rugby union and lived the dream of playing for the wallabies – well i thought id be like it couldnt get any better

      but to openly say that league is a consideration – weird – maybe he should just go and play league now

      • mxyzptlk

        I don’t know if it’s disrespectful in a professional environment with a wide-open market for talent across codes. First, in the article I recall, Kurtley talked about watching the last time the Lions visited Australia on TV when he was a kid, and how the whole thing captured his imagination. It seemed to hold something for him.

        But second, was Israel Falau disrespectful to league or the AFL when he went to the Waratahs? Was Brad Thorn or Sunny Bull disrespectful to either code when they hopped back and forth? I’m not sure considering the options available to an athlete with the ability to play multiple codes is necessarily disrespectful; that can just as easily be seen as a business decision and an athlete wanting to challenge himself.

  • ooaahh

    mafi him

    • Nutta

      Agree. On the prima facie he had made an agreement not to drink – and then wilfully broke it (no reports of a struggling Beagle being held down whilst tequila was forced down his throat are there?). Short of the “alcohol” being a lemon, lime & bitters it all looks pretty cut & dried. Simple. We can talk all the freudian crap we like about ARU or Rebels oversight and what could/would/should be done to insulate unfortunate little footy stars from the reality of their actions. But at the end of the day he must live by his word or else face the consequences. We all do. We are all accountable for what we do. The test now is how the ARU and co respond. Will they be strong and act in the longer term interest of the game? Or will they buckle to short-term self-interest?

      • Dally M

        The good thing is, if the Rebels decide to cut him it will be with the backing of the ARU & he can’t just move to another team like Dugan has in the NRL.

        He’ll fit in nicely playing League.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Frankly my greatest concern for Kurtley is for when he is no longer of any value as a sportsman.

    Right now people are keen to see him do well and play Rugby as we know he can. But what happens is a few years time when he’s washed-up after drifting from club to club, code to code, country to country & eventually even an outer Ukraine Rugby Club sees him as simply a worthless bum. He could be on a TV show of ‘what ever happened to’?

    IMHO this bloke has had the easy road with school & footy courtesy of Rugby Unions talent spotters. Result? He has no idea of what it’s like for the average bloke struggling to pay his weekly bills because it was all given to him on a silver plate. He has money, fame, cars……the lot including the downside, the addiction.

    Rugby caused the problem and Rugby needs to bloody well make a concerted effort to fix it by getting him into rehab and saving him from himself.

    But I bet that they won’t. More than likely he’ll keep on doing what he’s doing and getting away with it. Him (and others) are like they are because we bluff instead of carrying our real action to turn boys into real men.

    God I hope Cheika doesn’t contemplate bringing this dip stick into the Waratah set-up. He could so easily undo all the hard work in no time what so ever.

    • Dave

      rugby caused the problem ?? …. where do you draw the line then ? Can you also therefore go right back to the fact that he was given a bogus scholarship to Joeys based on his rugby skills and therefore argue that his entrance into a school that normally would have had nothing to do with him if he was not a talent was the beginning of HIS PROBLEM ?

      HOW BOUT RUGBY HAS GIVEN HIMA FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY IN LIFE WHICH HE IS SCREWING UP and there is no-one to blame except himself !!

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

        Don’t like my phrase “rugby caused the problem” and then highlight precisely how it was the problem. That’s rich.

        Your point about his “bogus scholarship to Joeys” is more than likely the start of it all and over time it’s progressively worsened to the point it is now, with the promise of yet more to come.

        True. Rugby gave him fantastic opportunities, and still does. Who can deny that? But what it hasn’t given him it seems, is the skills, the smarts, the tools to handle/manage the success that it brought him.

        IMHO for Rugby to be able to look at it’s self in the mirror, it needs to make a genuinely concerted effort to help this guy. If it does that and he still spirals out of control, then we can all say that we honestly tried our best.

        Don’t you think?

        • dave

          sorry mate – cant handle that – so what ur saying is Rugby has to not only pay you well, provide you with a great life, afford you amazing travel opportunities to play in packed stadiums all over the world experiencing amazing days to remember for life but it also has to help you address your character weaknesses, give you skills to focus on correct life decision making, be an ear to you for any unexpressed earlier life hurts, provide you with skills to say no when you feel like a drink…where does it end

          what else should RUGBY do for Kurtley – provide him with a girlfriend too to make sure he’s sexually satisfied on a regular basis ?

          FFS – if thats the case, Im goin out the garage now and scappin’ off me boots

    • Older I get, the Better I Was

      It is hard not to think of Andrew Walker as a comparison. Such a talent! Last seen pushing mowers on the Gold Coast.

  • Matt

    Kurtley Beale, James O’connor and Quade Cooper are, let’s be honest, c*nts.

    I would not be unhappy to see Australian rugby to cut the three of the loose.

    Happy to see the Wallabies lose with dignity for as long as it takes.

  • Yabba88

    Kurtley has a serious alcohol problem. Alcohol is effectively poisonous to him, and his only option is to not drink, ever. It is as simple and stark as that. He doesn’t need to drink, and any ‘mates’ who encourage him to do so are ignorant a’holes, and certainly not real friends. Unfortunately what he is good at, playing Rugby, takes place in a milieu where getting drunk on a regular basis is regarded as normal, and anyone who chooses not to is regarded as a freak. I had the same problem as Kurtley. It cost me a partnership at my work, and lost me my best mate of 15 years. I wish him well, but am not optimistic. I’m better now, and a much nicer bloke than I used to be.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      Great comment. Thanks for posting.

      So when KB says ‘I don’t have a problem with alcohol’ he probably needs to add ‘however alcohol has a problem with me’.

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