Darts: Lowe attacks suspensions

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JOHN LOWE, the world champion, criticised the British Darts Organisation yesterday following Tuesday's decision by the game's ruling body to suspend him and 15 other leading players.

The players - including former world champions Eric Bristow, Phil Taylor and Jocky Wilson - had joined forces with the World's Darts Council at the recent World Championships and signed a form threatening to boycott the championships next year unless the WDC was given overall control of the event.

The BDO said the boycott threat was 'nothing short of blackmail' and that the players had brought the game into disrepute. But Lowe, secretary of the recently formed World Professional Dart Players' Association, said: 'The action taken by the British Darts Organisation to suspend 16 of the world's leading players is another indication of their total mismanagement of the sport of darts.

'It is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. Instead of trying to solve the problems within the sport, they have in fact created a total division.

'The blame for the present dispute must lay firmly at the feet of the BDO, with their total inability to discuss and negotiate in an orderly and constructive manner the problems with the WDC.'

Lowe added that his association had sent a letter to the BDO asking that the suspension of the 16 players be lifted immediately so that they can continue their support of the county system.

None of the 16 are now eligible to play in leagues, internationals or tournaments under the BDO's jurisdiction, but Lowe warned: 'The membership of the WPDPA is far greater than the 16 named players and will have far-reaching implications on the sport should the suspensions remain.'