Simona to face integrity unit next week in NRL scandal

SYDNEY (AP) — A National Rugby League player implicated in a betting scandal is expected to face the sport's integrity unit next week.

Australian media have been reporting that Wests Tigers center Tim Simona could be banned for life for allegedly betting on matches, including placing wagers on players he had been marking to score a try.

Simona, 25, has been suspended indefinitely from the game and the NRL issued a notice in February to cancel his registration.

The NRL on Thursday said Simona will be allowed to plead his case before the league's integrity unit. No date has been set.

If found guilty, Simona could become the first player since Ryan Tandy to be banned. Tandy was found to have placed bets on North Queensland to score first points via a penalty goal in its August, 2010 match against the Bulldogs.

A life ban could end the New Zealand-born Simona's career at 79 games after he made his debut with the club in 2011.

The 2017 NRL season kicks off Thursday.

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