In a controlled environment I'm fine
Kurtley Beale has gone into denial, suggesting that he does not have a problem with alcohol.
Beale, who has stopped playing rugby indefinitely to deal with his off-field demons, has again been linked to a move to Rugby League.
This follows after Beale and Rebels teammate Cooper Vuna were sent home from the Melbourne outfit's tour of South Africa as a result of an altercation on the team bus last Saturday.
The incident occurred when Beale, clearly under the weather, abused Rebels skipper Gareth Delve after the Welsh No.8 told him to put his shirt back on on the bus back to their team Durban hotel. Vuna intervened and was punched by Beale, before retaliating and felling the utility back.
Both players were sent home on Monday, following an initial team hearing into the altercation took place after the Rebels suffered a humiliating 7-64 loss to the Sharks earlier that day.
The Australian Rugby Union, in a statement on Thursday, confirmed that Beale will "stand down indefinitely" to get treatment for his alcohol addiction.
While accepting his punishment after a day of meetings with the ARU, Rebels management and the players' association, Beale issued a statement to Fox Sports' Rugby HQ program saying drinking was not a major issue for him.
"I really don't think I have an alcohol problem but sometimes alcohol doesn't agree with me," he said in the statement to Fox Sports.
"In a controlled environment - at a barbecue or at a restaurant - I'm fine but, at other times, I make bad choices.
"I had no intent to hit Cooper [Vuna] or Gareth [Delve]. It was very stupid and disrespectful. I asked for time and space to calm down and wasn't able to get it.
"I'm working hard to fix the problems. I'm not perfect and I know I have got issues and I have to deal with it and fix those issues. It is an ongoing battle for me."
The Australian Associated Press reports that Beale is staying in Sydney with his family rather than returning to the Melbourne Rebels fold.
While the Rebels are still in South Africa for a game against the Cheetahs on Saturday, Beale is at Mt Druitt with his mother Kathy, who he is very close to, and extended family.
The next step for the 24-year-old is unclear.
The Rebels issued a statement saying they hoped Beale would "embrace the assistance required" to deal with his alcohol issues.
However Beale appears to be at odds with the club after denying he has a problem despite the altercation among a string of incidents.
Recently sidelined with a broken hand, some reports suggested Beale could to be back from suspension after their bye to face the Crusaders in Round 11 on April 28 in Christchurch.
He is off contract with the Rebels at the end of the Super Rugby season and is tipped to return the Waratahs.
Beale is also believed to be a target for struggling National Rugby League club St George Illawarra and has previously spoken of his desire to play League at some stage during his career.
Sources: Fox Sports & AAP