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Snooker Takes Zero Tolerance to Corruption

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An appeal by former world snooker championship quarter finalist to have his 12 month suspension reduced has been rejected by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA)

The player, Jamie Jones, was found guilty of failing to report a plan to fix a 2016 match between David John and Graeme Dott.

Jamie Jones charge from WPBSA:

On and after 29 September 2016, in breach of Rule 4.2, you failed to report the approach of ‘A’ to David John to influence the outcome of David John’s match with Graeme Dott as soon as was reasonably practicable.

Jones was cleared of match-fixing, but admitted failing to report a corrupt approach.

Jones was told he must pay £9,000($11,750).

The player Jones failed to report, David John, received a five-year suspension after having admitted to fixing two matches. In addition, John was ordered to pay £17,000 ($22,000) costs.

There was no suggestion of wrongdoing by John’s opponent, Graeme Dott.

Jones said in a statement:

“I was not involved in that match in any way, I did not bet on the match and have never bet on snooker, in accordance with WPBSA rules, none of which were allegations made against me.

“I admitted in interview and to the disciplinary committee that I failed to report my knowledge of that approach to the WPBSA as soon as was reasonably practicable.

“It was a serious error of judgment and my only ever breach of any WPBSA rule.

“Events overtook me and I put my head in the sand, rather than confronting the issue, which was difficult for a number of reasons in the situation I found myself, but I do not seek to excuse it.”

Jamie Jones was the youngest player to ever achieve a 147 break in competition and maintained a ranking inside the top 50, with career earning close to £500,000 ($653000). His playing career will have taken a massive blow with this upheld suspension.

The suspension of Jamie Jones comes only a few Months after the lengthy bands handed down to two Chinese players for match fixing offenses
Yu Delu was banned from snooker for 10 years and nine months following a major match-fixing inquiry.

Cao Yupeng who pleaded guilty to fixing was banned for six years, although three and a half years of his sentence is suspended.
The plot to fix the outcome of snooker matches came to light when suspicious betting patterns in numerous matches were identified. The betting patterns were investigated over two years in one of snooker’s biggest corruption scandals.

Both Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng were investigated by the WPBSA before an independent tribunal ruled on their cases.

The tribunal, chaired by David Casement QC, chair of the tribunal said in a statement:

“Yu engaged in deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain for his friends/associates and himself.”

Chairman of the WPBSA, Jason Ferguson, Said:

“It is very sad when talented players are attracted to the opportunity to make money from fixing matches.”

One of the most notorious match fixing cases in the game of snooker involved one of the game’s top players, Stephen Lee.

Lee received the effectively career ending 12 year ban for his offenses relating to seven games, including one at the World Championship.

Snooker doing its utmost to ensure its standing as a clean and fair game, a reputation that will be essential if snooker is to realize its ambition and be named as an Olympic sport.

Billiard sports have previously applied to join the Olympics for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Following huge expansion globally snooker is now in a much stronger position to join the Olympic Games.

The first steps to join the 2024 games were taken earlier this year by the WCBS when the formal submission for the game to be included at the 2024 Paris Games was made along with cooperation from the Fédération Française de Billard (FFB).

About the author

Chris Davies

Chris Davies

Chris Davies is a writer and sports fan. He has written sports articles for many webzines. His first professional writing job was reporting on the 2007 RWC.
Chris last played rugby in a season after leaving university, and he still celebrates his try and his turnover. He now plays snooker several times a week against a well matched opponent.
Chris is a happily married father of three living in Cardiff, Wales.

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