NATHAN Bock last night made the startling admission that as soon as he kicked the opening goal for Gold Coast in its round-24 home clash with Hawthorn, he knew he could find himself the target of an AFL investigation.
Bock, a defender, was aware pre-game that a friend in South Australia had placed an exotic bet on him to boot the first goal.
A family member in Western Australia, having been informed by another close relative that Bock would be a surprise starter in the forward line, had done likewise.
Bock had revealed the day before that he would start up forward for the first time in the season.
The decision not to inform the club - and the AFL - that he had disclosed inside information that he knew had been used illegally, yesterday led to him being suspended for the opening two matches next season and fined $10,000.
''It's probably something that I look back on and could have done differently,'' a contrite Bock said last night.
Bock was backed from $101 to $21, sparking suspicions at TAB Sportsbet that were passed on to the AFL's integrity department and operations manager, Adrian Anderson.
Bock, however, informed the Suns of the bets 15 minutes after the match. An AFL investigation found about $40,000 in winning bets on the goal in South Australia and Western Australia.
Bock had become concerned late on game eve that his friend would place a bet. He spoke with his friend again on Saturday morning, who still went ahead with the wager.
The former Crow, who joined the Suns on a hefty contract believed to be worth about $800,000 a season, said his friend was ''very remorseful and disappointed''.
Bock would not discuss how a family member became involved, which ''led to a few bets''.
Bock and the AFL insisted he had not revealed his positional move for betting purposes, much like Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell earlier this year.
''At no stage was there any intent to pass on information. It was careless and reckless,'' Bock said.
''I obviously regret doing that, am deeply remorseful.''
Bock said his post-season holiday overseas had prolonged the investigation. He becomes the fourth person found guilty of gambling breaches this season, completing a bitter-sweet year for the AFL. While delighted with the league's thorough investigations, Anderson took no joy from finding offenders.
''We are disappointed in any case like this, particularly on the heels of the Maxwell and Shaw cases this year that any player would disclose inside information that could be used for betting purposes,'' he said.
Collingwood defender Heath Shaw was suspended for 14 games (six suspended) and handed a $20,000 fine for having a $10 bet on teammate Maxwell to kick the opening goal.
Maxwell was backed from $101 to $26 to kick the first goal against Adelaide at Etihad Stadium. Maxwell, like Bock, is a defender who started forward.
Maxwell was fined $10,000 for telling his family he was playing forward.
This information was used by his brother and his wife's mother to place bets totalling $85. The bets were lost when Magpie John McCarthy kicked the first goal.
Essendon assistant coach Dean Wallis was banned for 14 games after being found guilty of laying three bets on AFL matches - including one on his own team.