Ryan Atkins issued three-month ban by RFL after gambling incident

Ex-England centre Ryan Atkins has been dealt a three-month ban by the Rugby Football League (RFL) after the player admitted to betting on a match involving Wakefield Trinity, one of his former clubs.

Atkins, who was a free agent when he placed a wager on the Super League clash between Wakefield and Wigan Warriors, was found to be in breach of ‘Betting and Related Activity Code of Conduct’.

Despite not being registered with the club, the 35-year-old had played for Wakefield in the last 12 months, which is against the RFL’s rules and regulations.

The RFL released a statement which read: “The sanction imposed reflects these and other mitigating factors, but acknowledges that betting on Rugby League matches by any individual bound by the RFL’s Operational Rules is a strict liability offence. Professional players are offered education and support around gambling.”

It was said that Atkins had no ‘inside’ knowledge when placing the single bet, hence the RFL’s short suspension.

Atkins, who has signed with Championship side York for 2021, issued a statement: “I regret placing the bet, and if I could wind back the clock, I would not have done so. I’d like to thank the RFL for the fair decision and York City Knights for their support and standing by me during this difficult time.

“I look forward to meeting up with the squad early February and paying back that support.”