Dons skipper in betting scandal

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THE captain of the Dons rugby league team has been suspended amid allegations he bet on his own side to get thrashed in a cup-tie.

Shaun Leaf, aged 27, could face a lengthy ban from the game if an investigation finds he is in breach of strict rules against players gambling on the outcome of their club’s matches.

Leaf was not playing in last Sunday’s Match at the Keepmoat Stadium between Doncaster and the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats but he is alleged to have placed a bet of £200 at odds of 10/11 for Dons to lose by at least a 38-point margin.

The fourth-round Carnegie Challenge Cup match was won 50-10 by the Wildcats.

Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall has also vowed to investigate after learning of the accusations against team captain Leaf.

Hall expressed his surprise and was quoted as saying: “There is no place in the game for this.

“If what I’m told turns out to be true, not only will he not be our captain, he won’t be at our club.”

Leaf’s suspension was announced by the club within just a few hours of publication of the allegations yesterday.

The bet was alleged to have been placed at a bookmaker’s office in Knottingley last Friday, 48 hours before the match which Leaf missed because of a dislocated thumb.

A spokesman for the Rugby Football League said: “The RFL has provisionally suspended Doncaster RL player Shaun Leaf with immediate effect pending the outcome of an investigation into an alleged breach of the RFL’s Operational Rules and a breach of the sport’s Betting Code of Conduct prior to the Doncaster RL v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tie.”

The spokesman added: “The RFL is also conducting an investigation into alleged breaches of Operational Rules and the Betting Code of Conduct prior to a Co-operative Championship fixture in 2009.

“The RFL will be making no further comment on these cases until the conclusion of the investigations.”