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Jaidyn Stephenson has today been handed a 22-game ban – 12 of them suspended for the rest of his career – and fined $20,000 for placing a number of bets on AFL games he was involved in.
Stephenson made three different same-game multi bets, of which the total stake was $36, on Collingwood matches this year: Round 4, Essendon in Round 6 and St Kilda in Round 9. All bets were unsuccessful.
He later reported the activity to Collingwood, who in turn notified the AFL of the breach to their gambling policy.
“It was an incredibly naïve thing to do,” Stephenson said.
“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 ten weeks.
“I can’t change the past, but what’s most important is what I do next.”
In announcing the sanction, AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the competition’s rules on the matter were clear.
If you breach the regulations, you will be penalised. Jaidyn’s actions have compromised the integrity of the game. He knew the rules but chose not to adhere to them,” Mr Dillon said.
“Collingwood responded very quickly and appropriately when they were made aware of the issue and recognised the seriousness of the matter.
“Stephenson, his teammates and the club have all co-operated fully when interviewed and that along with the fact of self-reporting have led to a substantial proportion of the sanction being suspended.”
Stephenson’s suspension, which will prevent him from playing with both the Magpies AFL and VFL teams but not stop him from training with the club, rules him out of the rest of the regular season. The ban will end in time for him to be eligible to play in Collingwood’s finals campaign.
The last notable sanctions for AFL players involved in betting also came at the Magpies. Heath Shaw was handed a 14-game suspension, six of which were suspended, and a $20,000 fine for putting a $10 bet on teammate Nick Maxwell to be the first goalscorer in a match against Adelaide in 2011.
Maxwell, who didn’t place a bet, was fined $10,000 – half of which was suspended.
Stephenson, who won the Rising Star in 2018 as he helped the Magpies to the grand final in a superb debut season, has been in good form in 2019, scoring 21 goals from 12 appearances and averaging a little over 15 disposals per game.