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AFL player hit with record ban for betting offence

Collingwood’s Jaidyn Stephenson has been handed a $20,000 (€12,261) fine and a 22-match ban (which includes a 12-week suspension) after admitting to placing bets on The Australian Football League (AFL) games he was playing in.

The ban, the most severe in the AFL history, comes after 20-years old Stephenson reported himself for betting a total of AUS$36 on three multiple section wagers across three Collingwood matches: the clash with Western Bulldogs in the league’s fourth round of matches, Essendon in round six and St Kilda in round nine. He handed himself in to Collingwood football boss Geoff Walsh after letting slip his betting habits after match against St Kilda.

It has been revealed that 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.

“It was an incredibly naive thing to do. 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. “I can’t change the past, but what’s most important is what I do next,” said Stephenson in his statement.

Stephenson is a key contributor for Collingwood, with 21 goals from his dozen games this season. He was also 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.

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