Nov 26, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan and Miu Hirano of Japan compete against Suthasini Sawettabut of Thailand and Orawan Paranang of Thailand during the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals at George R, Brown Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

A former Australian table tennis player has avoided jail time after betting on several rigged matches in Ukraine.

Adam Michael Green placed nearly 1,200 bets on table tennis matches in Ukraine from his home in Australia, winning nearly $500,000 in the process.

Green appeared remorseful in front of the judge who deduced that Green had a gambling problem and needed treatment rather than incarceration.

Green’s lawyer said the entire thing started when the former player messaged a Ukrainian player in 2020 for tips on how to jump-start his career. Instead, the player sent Green betting tips and Green was able to keep a 20 percent cut. Green said he initially was unaware the matches were fixed, but caught on after having such a high winning percentage on his bets.

He had been a gambler before the COVID pandemic, but said his gambling ramped up during the shutdowns, and table tennis was one of the only sports still in action. After retiring from table tennis in 2013, Green became an Uber driver, but lost the job amid the pandemic.

The judge ordered Green to be placed on a three-year intensive correction order, complete 100 hours of community service, and not have any betting account for three years.

American sports are no stranger to cheating scandals, either, as just in the past year there have been various cheating scandals in golf, college football, and poker.

[Alfonso Straffon]