Friday, July 19, 2024
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CFL Suspends Player for Betting on League Games

The Canadian Football League has suspended defensive lineman Shawn Lemon for allegedly placing bets on several league games, including games that he played for the Calgary Stampeders

As a result of the ruling of an independent arbitrator, the Canadian Football League (CFL) has suspended the Montreal Alouettes’ defensive lineman Shawn Lemon for wagering on a number of games in 2021 while playing for the Calgary Stampede. 

The list of alleged transgressions also includes one instance where the player placed a bet on one of the games in which he played, representing the same team. 

Namely, Lemon placed a €70 ($76) two-game parlay bet that featured the Stampeders. 

Originally, the CFL decided to ban Lemon on April 24. As a result of the appeal that followed, the player was allowed to go back to the field until the arbitration hearing scheduled for July 5.

However, when the 35-year-old and his team of legal representatives asked for an adjournment of the hearing to August 1-2, the CFL asked for his immediate suspension.

The player will this way be forced to skip four games prior to his hearing, and also retire once the season comes to an end

The arbitrator deemed that the immediate suspension decision until the time of the hearing was both “justified and reasonable.”

Next, both Lemon and the CFL will present their cases to the arbitrator during August’s hearing prior to a final decision being made.

After that, the arbitrator will make a final call on discipline for wagering on CFL games. 

At the end of the investigation it completed, the CFL concluded that there was evidence to indicate match-fixing.

The CFL has taken the same road on a number of other big North American sports leagues that have inked deals with FanDuel, Neo.net, and 888 in 2023. 

One issue is whether the rules of the league had explicitly put a ban on wagering on sports that athletes play in at the time, and if the respective information was accurately conveyed to players. 

Several players affirmed that they were never told about the respective rules and also that they were not put through any mandatory education course on the topic.

When discussing Lelmon’s case in June, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie explained that “the most unforgivable sin” is to place a bet on a “game that you played in,” adding the league would be a powerful message to prove its unaltered position and lack of tolerance on the matter. 

Lemon started playing in the CFL 13 years ago, in 2011, and has participated in eight of the nine franchises. 

Briefly, in 2015, he was a member of the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The player announced he would retire from the sport two weeks before his original suspension in April, prior to deciding to play an extra season. 

Lemon, who played in all of the team’s four games on its way to defending the Grey Cup title, will be forced to skip his team’s upcoming games before his next hearing. 

Alouettes’s general manager, Danny Maciocia, raised questions regarding the timing of the CFL’s announcement, which came less than two days before a game. 

Maciocia wanted to know why the investigation took so long to be completed, saying “we’re three years removed and three teams removed.”

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