NRL suspends five players over betting allegations

David Williams Manly Sea Eagles

The NRL has suspended five players for betting on rugby league matches in which their clubs were involved.A media statement announced the following bans:

David Williams (Manly Sea Eagles)- suspended for the rest of the 2014 season after placing multiple bets on games – including several in which he was involved.

Ethan Lowe (North Queensland Cowboys) – suspended for two games for betting on one game in which his club was involved – but in which he did not participate.

Cody Nelson (Gold Coast Titans) – suspended for two games for betting on one game in which his club was involved – but in which he did not participate.

Hymel Hunt and Slade Griffin (Melbourne Storm)- suspended for two games for betting on one game in which their club was involved – but in which they did not participate.

And the organisation has warned that penalties for betting will be even tougher in the future as part of a zero tolerance approach.

Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle said an audit of betting records covering more than 1500 registered players, officials and staff, found no evidence of serious abuse of the betting laws or match fixing. But the NRL had imposed a range of suspensions, terminations and warnings to those who have breached the betting rules.

Furthermore, first and final warnings have been issued to 12 registered NRL players, staff and officials who placed small, isolated bets on games. They either had no connection to the matches or were unaware they were prohibited from betting on those particular matches, with the body adding that none of the staff who received warnings were in a position to influence the outcome of matches.

There is no suggestion of match fixing or inappropriate conduct on the field by those involved, but the Integrity Unit is determined to protect the interests of all players, fans and members.”

Doyle said the new policy would see every player and official sign a document demonstrating that they understand and will comply with the NRL’s code. Those found guilty in the future face stiffer penalties, termination or suspension for any breach, no matter how small the bet is.

We are going to step up our education of the rules and every player, official and employee is on notice that there will be no excuses for betting on games in future.

The NRL will continue to work with the betting agencies to ensure there is no threat to the integrity of our game.”

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