Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson has released the following statement regarding Jaidyn Stephenson’s suspension on the Pies’ website.
Stephenson was fined $20,000 and was banned for 22 matches (12 suspended) for placing bets on the AFL.
The Pie will be able to return for the finals should Collingwood qualify.
Anderson’s statement can be seen below in full.
“All of our players and staff are aware that gambling on AFL matches, particularly Collingwood matches, is against the rules.
“We understand and fully support that the integrity of our sport is paramount and we all have a responsibility to protect our competition.
“The game must protect itself from the threat of gambling. We therefore accept what is a tough penalty.
“Stephenson’s decision to disclose his betting spoke to his good character but could not offset his poor judgement by gambling on matches that involved Collingwood.
“It is commendable that Jaidyn willingly came forward with his mistake. That he sought to make good on his earlier poor judgement.
“He chose not to bury his secret and live with it alone but reveal it, regardless of the consequences. This was undoubtedly an act of good conscience from a young man.
“We must balance his mistake with the actions he took to repair that mistake.
“We will continue to support Jaidyn. We know that he will learn a lot from this mistake and as a good person we will stand by him.”