Rugby League: RFL probes claim that skipper bet against his own team

Shocked Doncaster officials have pledged to co-operate fully with the Rugby Football League as they investigate allegations that captain Shaun Leaf placed a bet on his side to lose a Challenge Cup tie.

Leaf was yesterday suspended by the RFL with immediate effect pending the outcome of their probe into a newspaper allegation that Leaf gambled 200 at 10-11 on his team losing Sunday's fourth-round tie against Super League opponents Wakefield by more than 38 points.

The Wildcats scored an interception try in the last minute of the game at the Keepmoat Stadium to win 50-10.

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Leaf, a 27-year-old centre, missed the match with a thumb injury.

Doncaster chief executive Carl Hall, who is also the club's main shareholder, said: "I'm shocked but there's not much more I can say at this stage. We're working closely with the Rugby League and, when their full investigation is completed, we will make a statement. I've been told that's all I can say."

The RFL say they are investigating an alleged breach of their operational rules and the sport's betting code of conduct and are also looking into an alleged breach of regulations surrounding a Co-operative Championship fixture in 2009.

Leaf also told the newspaper that he lost 600 when home side Toulouse were two points away from winning by at least 48.

"The RFL will be making no further comment on these cases until the conclusion of the investigations," said a spokesman.

Doncaster chairman John Scarrow confirmed the club would be carrying out their own internal inquiry.

"The club consider this a serious matter," he said.

"We will be thoroughly investigating it in a proper and timely manner."

In 2004, St Helens players Sean Long and Martin Gleeson were each fined 7,500 for betting on their under-strength team to lose by more than eight points in a Super League match at Bradford.

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Long, who was among the players rested ahead of a Challenge Cup-tie a week later, was handed a three-month ban while Gleeson, who played, was suspended for four months.