Higgins found guilty

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Alex Higgins has again fallen foul of his sport's governing body when the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association yesterday found the Irishman guilty of breaching its disciplinary code at a hearing in Bristol.

Higgins, involved in a backstage incident following his 10-6 first-round defeat by Ken Doherty in the Embassy World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield eight months ago, was fined £5,000 and suspended from WPBSA tournaments, both promoted and sanctioned, for one year.

However, the disciplinary tribunal suspended each of the penalties for two years depending on the future behaviour of the former world champion.

During his 23 years as a professional, Higgins has had to attend no fewer than 14 disciplinary hearings and has been fined a total of £23,200.

The 46-year-old player could also find himself in more trouble following remarks after losing to Dave Harold in the last 16 of the UK Championship at Preston last month. A press-conference tape recording, in which a string of outspoken comments were made, has been sent to the WPBSA.