London Broncos fullback Richie Mathers has announced his retirement from Rugby League with immediate effect.
Mothers is currently suspended after being found guilty of breaching the RFL’s rules on betting, although he continues to protest his innocence after receiving the ban,
In a statement, the former Leeds and Warrington full-back said: “It is with considerable regret, and a degree of disillusion, that I have decided to call time on my rugby league playing career with immediate effect.
“The manner in which it has ended, battling off a potential career-threatening injury and defending a charge of ‘providing inside information on London Broncos’ playing strengths and pre-match preparations, and of encouraging other people to bet on the outcome of a match using the social media messaging application, Whatsapp’, has had a traumatic effect on me and my family.”
The statement goes on: “I strenuously maintain my innocence of all the issues, no evidence was found against me and I was convicted on the grounds of ‘comfortable satisfaction.’
“I was advised that a right of appeal against a finding comes with a dire warning of further risk of greater sanction and damage to my good name and career, and I had no wish to compromise or undermine the game.
“But I have subsequently found that, under ACAS regulations, this is not the case.
“I also hope to highlight to colleagues and professionals alike that they should take heed of the negative effects of social media, and the consequences that identity theft can have on your life.
“A growing number of companies are developing apps for smart phones and tablets, some of these are hard to trace, easy to manipulate, change and amend.”