Star cops massive ban for betting scandal
COLLINGWOOD'S Jaidyn Stephenson has been hit with a $20,000 fine and a 22-match ban (which includes a 12 week suspension) after admitting to placing bets on AFL games he was playing in.
AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon addressed the media at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, confirming Stephenson had placed "three multibet wagers on three separate games".
On two occasions Stephenson gave money to a friend to place bets for him. On the other occasion, he used a friend's betting account.
The total of all three bets came to $36 - all were unsuccessful.
"Jaidyn's actions have compromised the integrity of the game," Dillon said.
Speculation was Stephenson reported himself to the league after realising the severity of his actions. Dillon said the rising star, 20, "knew he was doing the wrong thing".
"I'm embarrassed that I've let myself, my family, my teammates and our loyal fans down and I'm devastated that I won't be able to pull on a Collingwood jumper for the next 10 weeks," Stephenson said via Collingwood.
The multi-bets included legs on:
- Collingwood to win
- Collingwood winning margin
- Stephenson to kick a goal
- Stephenson to kick three or more goals
- Collingwood teammates to kick a goal
- Collingwood teammates to kick two or more goals
- Collingwood teammates to have in excess of a number of disposals
Wednesday's decision is the toughest sanction yet handed to an AFL player found to be betting on matches.
The last player found guilty of such an offence was GWS veteran Heath Shaw, who was at Collingwood in 2011 when he served an eight-game betting suspension.
The third-placed Magpies have 10 games remaining this season and are among the flag favourites.
Stephenson is a key contributor for Collingwood, with 21 goals from his dozen games this season.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan refused to comment on the matter.
Stephenson was the AFL's Rising Star last season when, in his debut year, he booted 38 goals and was a member of the Magpies side that narrowly lost to West Coast in the grand final.
The Stephenson investigation continues a string of betting-related incidents at Collingwood.
Shaw was banned and fined $20,000 for betting on his then-Collingwood skipper Nick Maxwell to kick the first goal of a game.
Shaw and a mate bet $10 each on Maxwell, who usually played in defence, kicking the opening goal of the round 10 game against Adelaide, knowing his captain would start the game in the forward line.
Maxwell didn't place a bet but was hit with a $10,000 fine, with half that amount suspended, after some family members placed bets on him being the first goalkicker.
In March last year, Collingwood's Brayden Sier was given a suspended $5000 fine by the AFL after placing bets totalling less than $50 during the 2017 season. None of the bets involved matches the Magpies played in.
In 2017, Melbourne forward Jake Melksham was fined $10,000 by the league for misleading AFL investigators during an inquiry into activity on his betting account.
In March 2015, another Collingwood player, Jack Crisp, was fined $5000 by the governing body for bets totalling $129 on AFL markets while at his former club Brisbane in the 2014 season.
And in 2011, Essendon assistant coach Dean Wallis was banned by the league for 14 games for betting on three AFL games.
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