Snooker: Maguire and Burnett face betting inquiry

Police question world No 2 and fellow Scot over suspicions about UK Championship game
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The Independent Online

Two players were questioned by police yesterday over alleged irregular betting patterns during a UK Championship match. Stephen Maguire, and Jamie Burnett were released without charge after being held by Strathclyde Police.

The force's economic crime unit is investigating claims linked to the result of a game between the two Scots in Telford on 15 December last year. The first-round match, which was subject to investigations by World Snooker and the Gambling Commission, was won 9-3 by Maguire.

Maguire, ranked No 2 in the world, won the match after Burnett failed to pot a simple black ball that would have reduced his score to 8-4. Before the match, World Snooker was contacted by bookmakers reporting suspicious betting patterns on the outcome. They said there was heavy gambling on a 9-3 scoreline. Both men strenuously denied any wrongdoing and have pledged to co-operate with any investigations.

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "Our economic crime unit can confirm that two men, aged 28 and 33, have been detained and are assisting Strathclyde Police with their inquiries into the alleged irregular betting pattern associated with the snooker match involving Stephen Maguire and Jamie Burnett."

Both of the players were later released without charge. A spokesman said the pair were released after being questioned. They added that inquiries were continuing and a report would be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

A spokesman for the game's governing body, World Snooker, said: "This is currently a police matter and we await developments."