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Collingwood betting scandal: McGuire shoots down rumours

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Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has rubbished speculation surrounding a supposed gambling scandal involving several Magpies players.

Social media lit up on Thursday afternoon with talk of imminent sanctions for the club as the result of an investigation conducted by the AFL Integrity Department.

Various sources claimed that up to 10 Collingwood players were sprung running an illegal betting syndicate in which they would place wagers on Pies games.

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Those rumours sparked reports that the AFL was preparing to hand down year-long bans and million-dollar fines in the most severe penalties seen since the Essendon doping saga broke in 2012.

It was also suggested that Collingwood could lose their spot in this year’s AFL finals, meaning the ninth-placed team would be promoted.

But McGuire dismissed the allegations on Triple M radio on Friday morning and said AFL investigators were looking into the source of the rumours.

“What happens in these things now, is everyone has a bit of a laugh… all of these things went through, we saw them at the club,” he said.

“The AFL Integrity Department, this is a very serious department of the AFL, with the backing of Victoria Police, are investigating this.

“Because one, there’s defamatory comments this, forget about the harassment part of it and all the rest of it.

“But the integrity of the game is paramount to everybody.

“No one’s taking a happy go lucky view of this… it’s 100% not true.

“But [it got] to the point where we had to ring the AFL yesterday to just check if something was going on that we didn’t know about.”

It is not the first time the Magpies have had to deal with a gambling scandal.

Star forward Jaidyn Stephenson is currently serving a suspension for betting on AFL matches, while Pies midfielder Brayden Sier copped sanctions last year.

Back in 2011, premiership player Heath Shaw was hit with an eight-game ban and a $20,000 fine for using inside information to place a prop bet on teammate Nick Maxwell.

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