Collingwood's Shaw banned over bet - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood's Shaw banned over bet

By Greg Buckle and Roger Vaughan 15/07/2011 08:09:17 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood premiership defender Heath Shaw's AFL season is in jeopardy after placing what he described as a stupid bet.

The AFL banned Shaw for 14 matches, six of them suspended, and fined him $20,000 for paying half of a $20 bet at a TAB agency.

Magpies captain Nick Maxwell was also fined $10,000, half of which was suspended, after his family members placed bets.

The AFL punished the two players on Friday after a betting plunge on Maxwell kicking the first goal in the round-nine match against Adelaide.

Shaw's suspension includes the Saturday blockbuster against Carlton and puts him out of action until the start of the finals series for the Magpies, who are on top of the ladder.

Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh said Shaw faced an enormous task to force his way back into the side in September.

"Heath himself would acknowledge he has shown the height of stupidity," Walsh said.

Shaw said he knew he was breaking the AFL's anti-gambling rules.

"I thought it was something minor, a little bet, nothing would come of it," Shaw told a media conference.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that was stupid.

"I'm devastated that over the next eight weeks I won't be able to play football. I'll be doing everything I can to make sure that when I am available for selection, I'm ready to go."

Coach Mick Malthouse appeared to express support for Shaw and Maxwell late on Friday, simply posting on Twitter: "side by side".

The club song features the line "side by side we stick together".

The ban comes three years after Collingwood also banned Shaw and team-mate Alan Didak for the rest of the season after they lied to the club about their parts in a drink-driving incident.

"I've been in those situations, two pretty harsh lessons I have learned," Shaw said.

This time, the club and the AFL noted Shaw had been open and honest about what he had done.

Shaw explained he was at the TAB agency with a friend, betting on horses, when the friend suggested they bet on Maxwell to kick the first goal.

Shaw agreed and they placed a bet worth $20.

Shaw also told two friends about Maxwell starting forward, rather than his usual role in defence.

That led to three cash bets totalling $25.

Maxwell told family members he would start forward in the Crows game.

They decided to also place three bets totalling $85 on Maxwell kicking the first goal.

Maxwell was fined because he did not tell them they were not allowed to use the information for gambling.

The bets prompted a plunge on Maxwell's odds, from $101 to $26, but he did not kick the first goal of the game.

"It's not their fault, I'd never explained that situation," Maxwell said.

Maxwell is confident the Magpies can cope with the drama of the Shaw's suspension.

"Heath will be in there training, he'll be doing his best ... to make sure it doesn't derail us," Maxwell said.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the Magpies supported the strong sanctions applied by the AFL.

"The club is bitterly disappointed that, despite extensive education, media discussion and the AFL rules, Shaw would choose to disregard them and in doing so place his career, the reputation of the football club and the potential success of his team at risk," McGuire said.

McGuire said Shaw's long-term future at the club was not in doubt.

Friday's betting scandal came a day after coach Mick Malthouse said he couldn't guarantee he'd stay with the Magpies next year.

Malthouse, who has signed a deal to be director of coaching from 2012 to 2014, said he couldn't rule out taking his coaching talents elsewhere.

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