NRL player Simona deregistered by league over gambling

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Tim Simona of the Wests Tigers.

Tim Simona of the Wests Tigers. (Photo: photosport.co.nz)

SYDNEY (AP) — Wests Tigers center Tim Simona has been deregistered by Australia's National Rugby League for a range of gambling-related rule breaches, including betting against his team winning and on opposition players scoring against his club.

The NRL said Friday that the 25-year-old Simona also lied when interviewed by the NRL's integrity unit, and didn't pass on jersey auction proceeds to charities.

"Based on the evidence we have identified it is very hard to imagine that Tim Simona will be registered with the NRL at any time in the future," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said in a statement.

The NRL, which could have banned Simona for life, did not released specific details of Simona's actions. But text messages sent by Simona indicated he knew his behavior was in breach of the rules, Greenberg said.

"At the end of the day, he has deliberately flouted the laws of the game for his own gain and there is no place for him in the NRL."

Greenberg said Simona was remorseful and had been dealing with serious personal issues.

The investigation into Simona's actions, which also involves New South Wales state police, led to him last month being suspended from playing and training.

The Tigers released a statement later Friday saying the club was confident the Simona saga was not a widespread issue.

"As a club we pride ourselves on our standards of behavior and after discussions with the NRL, I'm 100 percent confident that this is isolated to Tim Simona," Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe said.

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