Melbourne swingman Joel Smith could be banned for two years following his positive cocaine drug sample during the 2023 AFL season.

Smith tested positive for cocaine in August following Melbourne's Round 23 encounter with Hawthorn last year and was subsequently placed under a provisional suspension as Sport Integrity Australia investigated the matter.

The AFL confirmed the positive sample last October, with the illicit substance found in a routine testing process that tested for performance-enhancing drugs.

Now, according to News Corp, Smith was informed earlier this week that the SIA is believed to have found the 27-year-old guilty of taking a performance-enhancing drug.

The SIA are understood to have pointed to a ban of at least two years but have not imposed a penalty on Smith.

It is expected that Smith will appeal the SIA's findings.

Smith could see his ban set at three months if he can prove the cocaine in his system was not a result of looking to better his performance.

Smith, whose contract will expire at the cessation of 2024, played 14 games for Melbourne this year and would boot three goals in their semi-final loss to Carlton.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Joel Smith of the Demons runs with the ball during a Melbourne Demons AFL training session at Gosch's Paddock on July 11, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Demons coach Simon Goodwin revealed in October that he had not spoken to Smith since the positive test was confirmed.

"When I first heard, I was incredibly angry and frustrated," Goodwin told SEN. 

"To think that potentially we've got a player in Round 23, on the eve of a finals series, not doing everything possible to help the success of our footy team.

"I can only imagine that same feeling would be permeating through our supporter base.

"I haven't spoken to Joel, I'm going to let the process play out. Because I've got a level of anger and frustration towards it.

"There are the right people that are talking to Joel from a welfare perspective, and working really closely with him around that."

Melbourne's 2024 campaign is scheduled to commence in the Opening Round, with the Demons to play in the first game of the season against the Swans on Thursday, March 7 at the SCG.