Collingwood premiership player Heath Shaw has once again hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, this time being found guilty of breaching the AFL’s Gambling Policy.
It’s been discovered by the AFL’s Integrity Officers that Shaw contributed $10 towards a $20 bet on Nick Maxwell, to kick the first goal of his side’s Round 9 clash against Adelaide at Etihad Stadium. This occurred after it had been revealed that Maxwell would start the match at Full-foward, an unusal position for the Collingwood Backman.
Shaw has a history of poor off-field behaviour which includes a 2008 incident with teammate Alan Didak. Shaw was involved in a late-season controversy when he was charged with drink driving, after crashing into a parked car and reportedly registering a blood alcohol reading of 0.144. On August 4, Collingwood Football Club released a statement saying that Shaw had lied to them and that teammate Alan Didak was his passenger when the accident happened. Shaw and Didak however originally denied this, leading to the entire team fronting the media in a show of unity, where Shaw refused to divulge the identity of the passenger under media questioning. He was backed up by the current captain Scott Burns, however eyewitnesses identified Didak, and after the pair admitted to lying to their teammates and club officials, they were banned until the end of the season.
As a result of this latest incident, Shaw has been suspended for 14 weeks (6 of which are a suspended sentence)and fined $20,000 for his involvement in arguably the biggest scandal of the 2011 season. In addition to this, Maxwell has also been fined $10,000 for relaying information about his selection at Full-forward to family members.
The bet of Shaw’s also coincided with a plunge of money on Maxwell which saw the Collingwood Captain drift in from odds of 101-1 to 25-1, just hours before the match commenced. Clearly this was enough reason for the AFL to become suspicious and launch an investigation.
When quizzed about the suspension this afternoon, Shaw responded that he went to the TAB to bet on horses with a friend and gave his friend $10 to put on Maxwell. He has stated that he supports the AFL’s decision and is deeply apologetic.
Shaw will be available for the first week of the finals.