Richie Mathers: London Broncos full-back retires after betting ban

Richie Mathers
An independent tribunal found Richie Mathers had provided inside information on London Broncos and encouraged people to bet on the outcome of a match

London Broncos full-back Richie Mathers has announced his retirement, two weeks after receiving a six-month suspension for breaching betting rules.

The 31-year-old had a year remaining on his deal with the Championship club.

"It is with considerable regret, and a degree of disillusion, I have decided to call time on my career," he said.

"The manner in which it has ended has had a traumatic effect on me and my family. I strenuously maintain my innocence"

The former Leeds, Warrington and Wakefield player was found guilty of breaching Rugby Football League rules relating to betting by an independent tribunal last month.

The RFL said the offences related to the Broncos' 64-12 defeat by Leigh Centurions in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup on 20 March.

Richie Mathers factfile
Born: 24 October 1983Previous clubs: Warrington, Leeds, Gold Coast Titans, Wigan, Warrington, Castleford, Wakefield Trinity
Nationality: EnglishInternational appearances: Two

The tribunal ruled Mathers had provided inside information on his club and encouraged other people to bet on the outcome of a match via social messaging application Whatsapp.

"No evidence was found against me and I was convicted on the grounds of 'comfortable satisfaction'," Mathers said in a statement online.external-link

"I was advised that a right of appeal against a finding comes with a dire warning of further risk of greater sanction and damage to my good name and career, and I had no wish to compromise or undermine the game."

Mathers said he had subsequently found that, under Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Serviceexternal-link (ACAS) regulations, "this is not the case".

He added: "I will therefore propose amendments to the RFL independent tribunal rules and sanctions, which apply to appeals and must be addressed."