An AFL umpire is one of four men who have been arrested in relation to an investigation into suspicious betting activity linked to this year’s Brownlow Medal.
The league confirmed on Monday the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit alleged the quartet were involved in suspicious betting activity linked to round-by-round betting on the 2022 count, won by Patrick Cripps.
It’s alleged a person with knowledge of the voting tally of certain matches provided the information to a group of people known to them.
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Two 32-year-old men from Glenroy, a 29-year-old man from Oak Park and a 27-year-old man from Drouin are expected to be charged on summons with using information to corrupt a betting event.
Detectives executed warrants at several residential properties in Victoria, seizing mobile phones and electronic items while arresting the four men.
All four men are in custody and are assisting police with the ongoing investigations.
Those offences carry a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.
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The AFL said there was no information suggesting the awarding of votes was impacted by the suspicious betting activity, “as the allegations relate solely to the distribution leaking or improper communication of the 3,2,1 voting outcomes post some specific matches during the season to unauthorised persons”.
AFL EGM Football and General Counsel Andrew Dillon said: “In the days following the 2022 Brownlow Medal count, the AFL was made aware of potential suspicious activity by one of our betting agency partners and the AFL Integrity unit immediately gathered further information.
“Given the nature of the alleged activity we engaged Sports Integrity Australia and Victoria Police to assist with the matter.
“I want to stress that neither Victoria Police, nor the AFL have information to suggest that the outcome of the Brownlow Medal was impacted as the allegations relate solely to the leaking or improper communication of the 3,2,1 voting outcomes of some specific matches during the season.
“Post-game, the Brownlow votes are sealed and stored in a secure off-site location and not opened until they are delivered on stage on Brownlow night. The sealed vote cards are audited throughout the season by KPMG.”
Intelligence and Covert Support Command, Commander Deb Robertson, released a statement on Monday.
“We have a dedicated team of detectives at the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit who are committed to investigating any and all allegations of corruption in sport,” Robertson said.
“Victorians are well known for their love of AFL and in particular, the prestigious Brownlow Medal award, but equally they want to know that there is integrity, fairness and honesty behind this award.
“We have been working with the AFL and Sport Integrity Australia in relation to these matters, and we will continue to work together to target, disrupt and apprehend people who commit these offences.
“The public assistance is a really key part – we know there are people out there involved in sport who see or hear things they know are not right and we need them to speak up. This can also be done confidentially via Crime Stoppers.”