Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan moves to clarify comments on match-fixing

The world champion appeared to suggest a number of players were fixing matches

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has backtracked on his claim that match-fixing could be rife in snooker.

The threat of disciplinary action against O'Sullivan arose on Tuesday when he spoke out on Twitter, a day after Stephen Lee was found guilty by an independent panel of fixing charges following matches played in 2008 and 2009.

O'Sullivan wrote on the social network: "I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches .. I suppose Steve lee was just caught out."

He added that "plenty of people have got loads to hide".

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, who is close to O'Sullivan, warned the 37-year-old he must not make "vague announcements" and stressed he could face a disrepute charge if he knew of undetected fixing offences having been committed.

Now O'Sullivan claims his only knowledge of match-fixing stems from second-hand accounts dating back several years, and before Hearn took the helm of World Snooker in December 2009.

In a statement released on Thursday by World Snooker, O'Sullivan delivered a clarification that should quash the danger of any charges being laid against him.

He said in the statement: "I would like to clarify the comments that I made on Twitter 17th September as they were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about, namely the integrity of my sport.

"The news about Stephen Lee's match-fixing case was eye-opening to all players on the circuit, and sends out a clear message to any would-be cheats.

"I fully support this decision and commend the WPBSA for taking positive action in this case.

"My reference to players throwing matches was out of context in that I was referring back to rumours from many years ago when there were only a few tournaments on the circuit.

"The snooker circuit calendar is now full of tournaments all year round and has undoubtedly been cleaned up since World Snooker was taken over by Barry Hearn, and I do not want my comments to leave a damaging mark on the game.

"These days, players are aware that procedures are in place for monitoring and identifying unusual betting patterns, and combined with the Stephen Lee decision, these act as a significant deterrent to potential cheats.

"If I were aware of match-fixing, I understand that it would be up to me to report any fears to the association.

"I have no intention of undermining the integrity of the sport that I love and enjoy participating in so much and firmly believe that my tweets were taken out of context."

Former world number five Lee was found guilty of fixing charges relating to seven matches.

The 38-year-old from Trowbridge could be banned for life when the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association confirms his punishment on Tuesday.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - Dereham

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project