Ivan Toney diagnosed with gambling addiction after eight-month ban

Brentford striker Ivan Toney received a reduced ban for his betting offences after being diagnosed with a gambling addiction.

The 27-year-old was given an eight-month suspension from all football-related activities for breaching the Football Association’s rules on betting.

Toney’s club Brentford had reserved comment until they received a full written explanation for the sanctions imposed, and their release on Friday revealed that the FA’s regulatory commission had concluded that he has a gambling addiction and requires help.

A possible 11-month ban was subsequently reduced to eight, despite the FA initially wanting to impose a 15-month ban on Toney for lying about his betting.

“The club will now be doing everything possible to provide support to Ivan and his family to deal with the issues raised in this case,” Brentford said in a statement.

“We consider this matter closed and look forward to welcoming Ivan back to training in September.”Toney eventually admitted to 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules over four years between February 2017 and January 2021, with 13 of those charges related to betting on his own loan or parent team to lose. Toney did not play in any of the games, which related to 11 Newcastle United fixtures and two involving Peterborough United.

“The present case is not one of match-fixing. If it was, the charges would have been pursued under different provisions,” the commission’s statement read. “There is no evidence that Mr Toney did or was even in a position to influence his team to lose when he placed bets against them winning – he was not in the squad or eligible to play at the time.”

“The commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by [psychiatrist] Dr [Philip] Hopley. The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction.”

Toney will be allowed to resume training with Brentford on September 17 and can return to first-team action on January 17, 2024.

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