The Rugby Football League (RFL) has issued a three-month suspension to Ryan Atkins after the player admitted to betting on a game involving his former club, Wakefield Trinity.
Atkins was not registered with a club when he wagered on the outcome of Wakefield’s Super League fixture with Wigan Warriors in September. However, the RFL noted that the ‘fact that he had been registered with Trinity during the previous 12 months’ meant that the player was in breach of the league’s ‘Betting and Related Activity Code of Conduct’.
Issuing a statement, Atkins said: “I regret placing the bet, and if I could wind back the clock, I would not have done so. I’d like to thank the RFL for the fair decision and York City Knights for their support and standing by me during this difficult time.
“I look forward to meeting up with the squad early February and paying back that support.”
In reaching its decision, the RFL accepted that Atkins had placed a single bet when he was no longer a Wakefield player and made without using ‘inside’ information.
In its statement, the RFL also confirmed that Atkins had ‘admitted the charge promptly’ and cooperated fully with the ongoing investigation.
The RFL stated: “The sanction imposed reflects these and other mitigating factors, but acknowledges that betting on Rugby League matches by any individual bound by the RFL’s Operational Rules is a strict liability offence. Professional players are offered education and support around gambling.”