Clubs name players in AFL betting probe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clubs name players in AFL betting probe

17/02/2007 09:09:47 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide All-Australian Simon Goodwin is the highest profile player of the four named at the centre of an investigation into betting on AFL games.

The others are Melbourne defender Daniel Ward, Kangaroos ruckman David Hale and Sydney rookie Kieren Jack with the foursome revealed by their respective clubs on Saturday.

Adelaide Crows chief Steven Trigg was first to name Goodwin as being involved in the probe just a day after the announcement that four players were under investigation.

The AFL has a strict anti-gambling code with severe penalties.

This is the first time it has investigated a possible breach of the rules.

The league's policy has been in place for several years and penalties for breaches include a fine of up to $100,000.

If found guilty, a player could also face an indefinite ban from competition or even attending AFL games.

"Further to the AFL's media statement last evening the Adelaide Football Club wishes to advise that Simon Goodwin is one of the four players being investigated for betting on AFL matches in season 2006," Trigg said on Saturday.

"Simon has cooperated fully with the AFL investigators and confirmed that the bets were placed by him in breach of the AFL rules.

"The club wishes to make clear and emphasise that these bets were not placed on Adelaide Football Club games.

"He is fully understanding of his actions and prepared to accept any penalty that arises.

"He accepts that he has shown an error of judgment.

"Until the AFL Investigation is complete there will be absolutely no comment from any player or official of the Adelaide Football Club including Simon Goodwin."

Melbourne football manager Chris Fagan confirmed Ward was under investigation, but refused to elaborate.

"Melbourne Football Club is aware of the AFL investigation into players gambling on AFL football," Fagan said.

"We acknowledge that one of the players named in this investigation is Daniel Ward.

"We will have no further comment until the AFL investigation is complete."

Kangaroos general manager of football operations Donald McDonald later confirmed Hale's involvement.

"The club wishes to make clear that these bets were not placed on games involving the Kangaroos," he said.

"David placed bets on three occasions in September and the bets are rated at the very, very low end of the scale."

Sydney said Jack, the son of retired rugby league great Garry, did not place bets on Swans matches.

"Kieren has confirmed that in 2006 he placed two bets, totalling no more than $10," Swans chief executive Myles Baron-Hay said in a statement.

"The club wishes to make it very clear that these bets were not placed on Swans games.

"Kieren acknowledges and accepts that in doing so he breached AFL rules. He accepts that it was an error of judgment and apologises."

The AFL on Friday issued a media release saying "it is investigating four players for betting on AFL matches or events".

League operations manager Adrian Anderson reminded clubs, players and supporters of its policy.

"The AFL regulations and standard player contract both clearly outline all players and officials responsibilities in regard to gambling, as a core issue for the integrity of the game," Anderson said.

He has appointed AFL investigators Allan Roberts and Bill Kneebone to look into the allegations.

The league would not say how it became aware of the matter.

The statement added: "Mr Anderson said there was no suggestion any player had bet against his side winning."

But it did not rule out altogether that one or more players under investigation had bet on their own sides.

AFL betting also covers aspects of the game such as where a team finishes at the end of the season, plus possessions and goals.

The AFL expects Roberts and Kneebone to complete the investigation within the next fortnight.

All players and club officials are banned from betting on AFL matches or events, such as the Brownlow Medal.

The gambling rule also expressly forbids players from not performing on their merits "in any match for any reason whatsoever".

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