Collingwood's premiership push has received a huge blow, with emerging star Jaidyn Stephenson banned for 10 matches and fined $20,000 for betting on three AFL games involving his club.
The 2018 Rising Star Award winner was banned for 22 matches but 12 of those games were suspended.
"This is the toughest penalty imposed under our wagering rules," AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said.
An AFL statement confirmed the 12-match suspended sanction would apply for the remainder of Stephenson's career.
Stephenson placed three same game multi-bets in three separate matches this season in which he played. The matches in question were against the Western Bulldogs in Round 4, Essendon in Round 6 and St Kilda in Round 9. The bet stakes totalled $36.
The multi-bets included legs on:
-Collingwood to win
-Collingwood winning margin
-Stephenson to kick a goal
-Stephenson to kick three or more goals
-Collingwood teammates to kick a goal
-Collingwood teammates to kick two or more goals, and
-Collingwood teammates to have in excess of a number of disposals.
On two occasions Stephenson gave cash to a friend to place the bets for him, once he used the friend's betting account. All bets were unsuccessful.
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"We have very clear rules about betting on football. 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," Dillon said.
"There is no clearer instruction - AFL players, club and league officials are banned from betting on the Australian rules football in any form."
Stephenson self-reported to Collingwood, who in turn reported the breach to the AFL.
Stephenson will still be allowed to train with Collingwood. He will not be able to play in Collingwood's VFL team during his ban.
Stephenson described his betting as "acts of stupidity".
"It was an incredibly naïve thing to do," the 20-year-old 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 10 weeks."