Collingwood youngster Jaidyn Stephenson has accepted the blame for the betting scandal which as seen him banned for 10 games, with another 12 games suspended, and fined $20,000.
The 20 year old made a series of bets totalling $36 before he turned himself into the authorities. Today his club stressed he had never bet against the club.
And they added: "None of the Collingwood players Stephenson placed bets on were aware of him doing so and the AFL has cleared Stephenson of influencing in any way the outcome or course of an AFL game."
This afternoon Stephenson described his betting as “acts of stupidity” that he felt guilty about.
“It was an incredibly naïve thing to do,” he 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.
“I can’t change the past, but what’s most important is what I do next.”
Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson added: “All of our players and staff are aware that gambling on AFL matches, particularly Collingwood matches, is against the rules.
“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 and as a good person we will stand by him.”