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Riders GM says Smith accused of visiting a bar, violating condition of release

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders say wide receiver Taj Smith is accused of being in a bar in Ottawa, and that's why he was charged with violating a condition of his release.

Roughriders general manager Brendan Taman says that's why Smith will be missing a game Thursday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

At the time of the initial announcement, the team only said that Smith was "charged with violating a condition of release stemming from an incident last August."

Taman now says Smith is accused of going to a bar in Ottawa on Sunday night, and that violated a condition that was set as he awaits a preliminary hearing on a charge of aggravated assault.

Smith was charged last August after he and teammate Dwight Anderson allegedly beat a man outside of a Regina nightclub.

A judge ordered Smith to stand trial after a preliminary hearing in June found that there was enough evidence to try him but not Anderson.

Evidence presented at a preliminary hearing is subject to a publication ban.

"We had to make a team-oriented decision and we sent him down for a week," Taman said about the decision to keep Smith off the field.

When Smith was released on the assault charge, a number of conditions were attached including no visits to bars.

Smith has 227 receiving yards so far this season with two touchdowns.

Taman is non-commital about what the future holds for Smith, admitting there is a chance he might have played his last game as a member of the Roughriders.

"We're going to have some more discussions with him. We obviously had a couple with him yesterday. We're not happy with it. We'll see how it plays out," Taman said.


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