Melbourne captain Max Gawn has reaffirmed his stance that the Demons have a "good culture" in the wake of further assertions against suspended teammate Joel Smith.

Smith has been accused of trafficking or attempted trafficking of cocaine on top of his positive drug sample for the illicit substance during last year's home and away season.

Still placed on a provisional suspension, the latest twist in Smith's drug saga has compounded concerns surrounding Melbourne this off-season, with superstar teammate Clayton Oliver also left to deal with personal matters since the end of the club's 2023 campaign.

Fronting media less than 24 hours on from Sport Integrity Australia's latest assertions and findings in their investigation into Smith, Gawn conceded that the club has matters to "iron out, but questioned suggestions the club has a bad culture.

"All I can say is for 16 years I've been getting drug tested, for 10 years I have been getting hair tested. In that 10 years I have never been told that our club has a drug culture," Gawn said, per multiple media outlets.

"Yes, with the investigation, if it proves to be true, there is a player that's taken illicit drugs. We're naive to think that doesn't happen in society. I get we're a high-level performing industry and we'd love zero (drug abuse).

"Until I get told that we have an issue or I can see an issue with my own eyes, I can only go off face value.

"I like to think I've got a good grasp on our group. I'm incredibly bullish that we've got the right culture. We're always working on it.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Simon Goodwin, Senior Coach of the Demons and Max Gawn of the Demons pause for the national anthem during the 2023 AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 07, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"But in 10 years no one has told me that we have a drug culture and I'm going to go by that.

"I still stay strong that we've got a good culture at our club. There are things to iron out, and that's the same with every club and society issue. I'm not hiding, there are issues and we have to make sure we get that right. But there's going to be issues every year whether you guys (the media) write about it or not."

The Demons will take part in their second pre-season clash next week against Carlton, with Gawn expressing some level of confidence in Oliver taking the needed steps to get himself ready for an Opening Round clash against Sydney in early March.

Oliver returned to the field on Sunday against a mix of Richmond AFL and VFL players to put together a successful comeback after a heavily interrupted past few months.

The Demons are planning to have Oliver feature at Ikon Park next Wednesday night, leaving the door open for the midfielder to play against the Swans.