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On this day in 2013: Stephen Lee banned from snooker for match-fixing

The former world number five was found guilty of charges relating to seven matches in 2008 and 2009.

Pa Sport Staff
Monday 25 September 2023 06:00 BST
Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years (David Davies/PA)
Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years (David Davies/PA) (PA Archive)

Snooker player Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing, on this day in 2013.

The then 38-year-old was found guilty of the charges by an independent tribunal and the sanction was imposed on Lee a week later.

The former world number five was found guilty of match-fixing charges relating to seven matches in 2008 and 2009.

As well as the 12-year ban, tribunal chairman Adam Lewis QC also ordered that Lee pay costs of £40,000.

A statement from the World Professional Billards and Snooker Association confirmed the suspension was calculated from 12 October 2012, when the interim suspension was imposed, and the ban would continue until 12 October 2024.

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues. However this demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that snooker is free from corruption.

“It is an important part of our anti-corruption approach that players found to be involved in fixing matches or any aspect of a match are severely dealt with.

“We work closely with partners globally and the message we are sending is that if you get involved in match-fixing you will be found out and removed from the sport.”

The WPBSA had been seeking a lifetime ban but the organisation’s head of disciplinary Nigel Mawer insisted the 12-year suspension was effectively the same thing.

Mawer told PA: “We did say we were seeking a life ban because if it was seven matches that had been fixed including during the World Championship.

“But in effect it is a life ban because I think it is highly unlikely that Stephen Lee will be able to come back to the sport at this level.

“We don’t take great pleasure out of that – this is a case of a fantastic snooker player who has thrown it all away through making the wrong decisions.

“It is only human to have a degree of sympathy for him and it is going to be very difficult for him but we have to send a very strong message that match-fixing is not going to be tolerated.

“To my knowledge this is the longest ban ever handed down and there are £40,000 costs to pay too if he ever wants to come back.”

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