CELTIC striker Leigh Griffiths has admitted he is on leave from the champions because of “mental health” reasons.

The Hoops star came clean about the situation following allegations of gambling and a report in a national newspaper today that he had been at Newcastle Races yesterday.

The 28-year-old forward has been given time off by his club to deal with “ongoing issues” and his last appearance came as a 66th-minute substitute for Odsonne Edouard  in the 1-0 Europa League win over Rosenborg in Trondheim on November 29.

Griffiths, in a statement on Twitter, insisted: “I am off work due to my mental health state. NOT GAMBLING, DRUGS, or any other issue that has been written about me since December.”

STRIKING POSE…Leigh Griffiths thumps in a free-kick during his comeback from injury against Hamilton Accies.

The Scotland international, who has scored more than 100 goals for the Parkhead men, described stories, comments and social media posts about him as “laughable”.

He added: “If anyone would like to come forward with real evidence that suggests I’m off with the above mentioned either from my employers, or anyone else, let’s see it.

“I’m putting this out there now because family and friends are being asked questions and they’ve been told to say nothing.”

Griffiths scored his last goal for the club with a free-kick shortly after coming on as a late substitute in the 3-0 victory over Hamilton Accies on November 24.

The frontman, who cost £1million when he joined from Wolves in January 2014, signed a four-year contract with the champions in September.

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