Batley's Johnny Campbell and Ayden Faal banned for betting
Two Batley players have been banned by the Rugby Football League for breaching betting regulations.
Last Updated: 14/02/14 5:19pm
Winger Johnny Campbell has been suspended for 12 months for placing bets on a number of matches, including the 2013 Kingstone Press Championship Grand Final, in which he played.
Team-mate Ayden Faal, who did not play in that match because of injury, has been suspended for six months.
Both players were found guilty of placing a bet for the first points of the game - which the Bulldogs lost 19-12 to Sheffield Eagles after leading 12-0 at half-time - to come from a Batley penalty goal.
RFL rules prevent players from betting on any match, either for themselves or on behalf of anybody else.
Campbell and Faal were also deemed to have breached the rule which forbids
players from using any information that is not in the public domain or readily
accessible by the public for betting purposes.
The tribunal accepted that there was no suggestion of match-fixing.
Batley chief executive Paul Harrison said: "We're going to speak to the players over the weekend and make sure they get the correct help. We're working with the RFL on player welfare.
"It's very disheartening for the club and a big blow on the eve of the season. It's a bit disappointing about the severity of the punishment but rules are rules I suppose.
"I really feel for the players, it's a massive part of their income. The board will be meeting over the weekend and we'll probably make a statement next week."
Campbell made 26 appearances for the Bulldogs last season, scoring 10 tries, while Faal played 18 times and scored five tries.
Batley finished the 2013 season in fifth place and went on to reach the Grand Final, where they were beaten 19-12 by Sheffield Eagles.
They begin this season with an away game at Leigh Centurions on Sunday.
This is the third betting scandal to hit rugby league in the last decade.
In 2004, St Helens duo Sean Long and Martin Gleeson received three and four month bans respectively and fined £7,500 after betting on their weakened team to lose a Super League match on the handicap coupon to Bradford.
Seven years later, Doncaster's Shaun Leaf was given an 18-month ban after admitting a series of gambling offences, including betting on his team to lose heavily in a Challenge Cup tie against Wakefield.