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Ivan Toney ban reduced after gambling addiction diagnosis

| By Marese O'Hagan
Brentford striker Ivan Toney's initial 11-month ban from football was rounded down to an eight-month ban after he was was officially diagnosed with a gambling addiction, said the English Football Association (FA) today.

This was revealed in a document published by the FA’s Regulatory Commission. The document contained the written reasons behind Toney’s ban.

The Brentford player had admitted 232 breaches of FA rule E8. This rule prohibits players, coaches and club employees from placing bets on football matches around the world. He had initially been charged with 262 offences, but 30 of these were retracted by the Commission.

The document read that the decision to reduce the ban was a “common ground” decision between the involved parties.

The Commission said that his age at the time of the offences, expression of remorse and good record of behaviour off-field factored into the reduction of the sanction. However, it highlighted the “particular importance” of his gambling addiction diagnosis.

“In addition, and of particular importance, the Commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified by Dr Hopley,” read the document.

Dr Philip Hopley was named as the psychiatry expert who gave evidence to the Commission via video call.

“The lack of control the player has in respect of gambling is clearly a reflection of his diagnosed gambling addiction,” it continued. “He is determined to address his gambling problem with therapy at the conclusion of this season.”

Eight-month ban

The Commission said 50 of the breaches were “the most serious” of the total offences. These included 16 bets on his own team to win and 13 bets on his own team to lose.

A total of 15 bets for Toney to score and six bets for others to score were also among the most serious.

Toney first confirmed that he was “assisting” the FA with an investigation in November last year. At the time, the Daily Mail reported that he had been under investigation by the FA for seven months.

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