MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 18: Steele Sidebottom of the Magpies celebrates a goal during the round nine AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Collingwood vice-captain Steele Sidebottom has been given a four-week suspension for breaching multiple COVID-19 protocols.

Magpies defender Lynden Dunn was handed a one-match ban for his involvement in the incident.

Sidebottom and Dunn caught an Uber together on Saturday night before the former went to ex-Magpie and club employee Daniel Wells’ house.

Sidebottom was allegedly found by police in Williamstown on Sunday morning before 7.30am and driven home.

Sidebottom’s lengthy suspension took into account his conduct on the night, which included the police taking him home in a heavily intoxicated state. Police reportedly found the 29-year old on a street in Williamstown.

The Magpies released a strong statement in response to the suspension, stating: “Collingwood and Sidebottom share the view that his four-match ban is excessive, inconsistent with recent protocol breaches and contestable”

However, they will not appeal the ban due to the “greater good of the game and the realities of our time.”

“To his credit, Steele considered what was in the best interests of the code and Collingwood,” Collingwood GM of Football Geoff Walsh said regarding an appeal in a statement released on the club website.

“Firstly, he accepts that he made some poor decisions but he also feels it is the right thing to accept the punishment, a greater punishment than most believe is fair, to avoid a distraction that could create difficulties for the competition and his team-mates. That’s the sort of person Steele is.

“As a club, we considered all options but our disappointment over Steele’s suspension is no greater than it is over the fact that two senior players breached the return to play protocols.

“Everyone knows Steele and Lynden started out with the best of intentions, to console an injured team-mate, but our players and staff have been well educated on the protocols and we take our social responsibilities seriously.

“We respect the privilege we have to play and the conditions under which we must live in order to play.

“As a code and as a community we have to remain vigilant and disciplined. This episode and the circumstances out in the wider community reinforce the need to minimise the risk of transmission.”

Both Sidebottom and Dunn reportedly tested negative to COVID-19 thereafter.

Sidebottom will be eligible to return in Round 9.