The AFL has today suspended Gold Coast SUNS player Rhys Nicholls for two matches and fined him $5,000 for breaches of the AFL’s rules related to betting on AFL matches.

The AFL’s integrity unit interviewed Rhys, who was cooperative and forthright when interviewed by the integrity unit. 

The investigation concluded that the bets were made on Nicholls account and further there was no evidence to suggest there was any intent to influence the outcome within the contest in respect to the bets.

Regardless, Nicholls was fully aware of the rules and regulations that are in place for any person within the AFL industry and understands the reasons why they are in place.  

“Rhys has cooperated fully with the investigation, put his hand up and understands the rules and why they are in place,” GC SUNS General Manager of Football Performance Wayne Campbell said.  

“Rhys will prepare for the upcoming season and we as a football club will continue to support him moving forward.”

AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said Nicholls’s action were a clear breach of the AFL rules.

“The AFL amended its rules relating to wagering in March 2020 to make it clear that Player and Officials would be held responsible for bets that are placed on accounts in their name,” Mr Dillon said.

“The AFL, AFLPA, and all clubs provide extensive education and counselling on all matters relating to gambling. There simply is no excuse - if you have a betting account it is your responsibility to ensure that it is not used for betting on AFL matches regardless of whether you place the bets or not.”

Rhys will still be allowed to train with the Gold Coast SUNS but won’t be available for selection in Rounds One or Two. Nicholls will not be able to play in Gold Coast SUNS VFL team during this time.