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MLS Suspends Sporting KC's Felipe Hernández for Season Due to Gambling Violations

KANSAS CITY, Kans. (AP) — Major League Soccer suspended Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernández without pay for the rest of the season Friday for violating the league’s gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct.

MLS said Hernández engaged in extensive and unlawful sports gambling, including placing wagers on two MLS matches, in direct contravention of league rules.

MLS said it initiated an investigation July 5 after Hernández disclosed to Sporting Kansas City that he was concerned about his personal safety due to gambling debts. The league said it and the team “immediately took steps to refer the matter to law enforcement and ensure that Hernandez received necessary support and counseling.”

Hernández tweeted a statement Friday.

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“Over the last several months, I have been able to reassess, take responsibility for my actions and get the proper care for something that has greatly affected me,” he wrote.

Hernández had already been suspended since July pending completion of the MLS and law enforcement investigations. Born in Colombia and raised in Nashville, Tenn., the 23-year-old Hernández had a goal and two assists in six games this season.

MLS said Hernández placed online bets on two MLS matches, though Sporting K.C. did not play in either game. It said no evidence was found that Hernández
possessed confidential or otherwise non-public information concerning those two matches.

Hernández will eligible for reinstatement Jan. 1.

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