CFL suspends Shawn Lemon indefinitely for betting on league games

By David Morassutti, Sportsnet

The CFL has suspended defensive lineman Shawn Lemon indefinitely Wednesday for participating in sports wagering activities involving league games, including one he played in.

A league investigation revealed that Lemon placed a wager on games in 2021 when he was playing with the Calgary Stampeders.

The league said no evidence indicated that games were impacted by his wagering. The CFL also says there was no evidence to suggest Stampeders coaches, teammates, or team personnel were aware of his actions.

“The integrity of our game is of the utmost importance. Any other factors — career performance, actions in the community, timing, frequency or size of wagers — hold no weight when the legitimacy of the CFL can be called into question,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie wrote in a statement.

“It is our responsibility as a league to investigate and address such abnormalities, and it is our collective duty, along with our teams and players, to ensure that sports wagering in no way impacts the quality nor standing of the CFL. We will continue to work with our authorized gaming operators, partners and stakeholders to hold our game to the highest standard.”

Lemon announced his retirement from football back on April 10, less than five months after he helped the Montreal Alouettes defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup.

The 35-year-old had initially signed a one-year deal with Montreal in December.

“The Alouettes were recently made aware of the CFL’s investigation regarding an issue involving Shawn Lemon that took place in 2021. Additional information was made available to the club upon the completion of the league’s investigation in recent days,” the team wrote in a statement. “The team fully supports the CFL’s rules on gambling. As a result of this investigation and the league’s ruling, we have suspended Shawn Lemon indefinitely. We will have no further comment.”

“The Calgary Stampeder Football Club is surprised and disappointed by the revelations of the Canadian Football League’s investigation into Shawn Lemon’s sports wagering activities,” the team wrote in a statement.

“The Stampeders unequivocally support the CFL’s policy on gambling and condemn the actions for which the player in question has been sanctioned. The Stampeders echo CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s comments about the upmost importance of preserving the integrity of the sport and the league. The Calgary Stampeders will have no further comment on the matter.”

Lemon registered 237 tackles and 101 sacks in 237 career regular-season games as a member of all nine CFL clubs. He also had three interceptions, forced 30 fumbles and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

During his career, he also won three Grey Cup titles in 2014, 2017 and 2024.

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