London Lions assistant coach Laurent Irish has been fined £10,000 for betting offences.

It has been confirmed that a charge of betting on basketball games was upheld following an investigation with his punishment also including a suspension from coaching in the current season.

In a statement, the British Basketball Federation said it had probed the matter in conjunction with FIBA, the Gambling Commission Sports Betting Intelligence Unit and the GB betting industry – in a detailed investigation, led by FIBA’s Integrity Officer, Professor Richard McLaren.

It said the incidents took place between August 2020 and February 2021 and involved betting on basketball matches and competitions world wide.

The statement said: “This is in contravention of the FIBA Code of Conduct, as detailed at the time of the offences.

“Following communication with Mr Irish, a Disciplinary Panel reviewed all information available and issued the following sanctions under the BBF/FIBA Regulations: A fine of £10,000. Suspension from coaching in the BBL/WBBL for the current season. Completion of appropriate awareness training relating to betting in sport. Mr Irish has been afforded the opportunity to appeal.”

Irish, Lions officials insisted, had not been on the bench at the Playoff semi-finalists this season although he was a registered official with the BBL.

Head coach Vince Macaulay said: “Covid and family vulnerabilities meant he didn’t attend any BCL or BBL games.

“Furthermore the announcement is rather odd as they have not allowed the young man time to make his appeal.”

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