England striker Ivan Toney banned over betting breaches
Brentford's England striker Ivan Toney has been hit with an eight-month ban after admitting breaches of betting rules.
Toney was charged by the Football Association last November for 262 alleged breaches over a four-year period.
The 27-year-old - who made his long-awaited England debut in March - admitted to 232 of the counts, with 30 having been subsequently withdrawn.
Following a personal hearing an independent regulatory commission imposed Toney's sanctions, which included a Stg 50,000 ($A94,000) fine.
He will not be able to play until January 17, 2024, but can train with Brentford from September 17.
Toney issued a statement later on Wednesday expressing his disappointment at the outcome.
"Today I have received notification of my eight-month ban from football following a hearing before an FA regulatory commission that took place yesterday," the Brentford striker wrote on Twitter.
"I am naturally disappointed that I will be unable to play for the next eight months.
"The written reasons for the commission's decision have not yet been published, so I make no further comment at this point other than to thank my family and friends, Brentford FC and our fans for their continued support, through what has been a very difficult time.
"I now focus on returning to play the game I love next season."
The written reasons behind the decision of the independent regulatory commission are to be published "in due course" and will be reviewed by both the FA and Brentford.
"Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of the FA's betting rules," an FA statement read.
"The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 in total between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232.
"His sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023."
The Bees chose to make no further comment and will be "considering our next steps", which could include an appeal against the suspension.
Toney scored 20 Premier League goals for the Bees this season, but will now sit out the remaining two matches - at Tottenham and then home to leaders Manchester City - as Thomas Frank's side look to consolidate a top-10 finish.
The loss of Toney, though, is likely to be more keenly felt at the start of the next campaign.