Snooker

Stephen Lee found guilty of match fixing

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Lee was found guilty by an independent tribunal in Bristol yesterday. (©GettyImages)
Lee was found guilty by an independent tribunal in Bristol yesterday. (©GettyImages).

Stephen Lee has been found guilty of fixing seven matches in 2008 and 2009 and is expected to receive a lifetime ban from the sport.

An independent tribunal in Bristol found that Lee deliberately lost matches and that £40,000 was paid into his wife's bank account as a result.

The 38-year old, who has five ranking titles to his name, purposely lost games at the Malta Cup against Ken Doherty and Marco Fu in 2008, and he also agreed to lose the first frame against Stephen Hendry and Mark King at the UK Championship the same year.

Lee lost to a pre-arranged score against Neil Robertson in Malta and to Mark Selby at the China Open a year later, as well as against Ryan Day in the 2009 World Championships at the Crucible.

The findings prompted WPBSA disciplinary chairman Nigel Mawer to call it the "worst case of snooker corruption that we've seen," and in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, he said: "Stephen Lee was working with three different groups who were betting on multiple platforms and the exact score and frame outcomes for matches he played in those tournaments.

"The worst case is the World Championships because that is an iconic event. To think that someone could play in that and to arrange the outcome is more than shocking."

Snooker has had it's problems with match-fixing in recent years, and current World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan believes there are more players that fix matches for money.

He tweeted: "I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches. I suppose Steve Lee was just caught out.

"No need to worry if you got nothing to hide. But plenty of people have got lots to hide. That's why there is no free speech. They're all hiding."

A further tweet read: "They will prob (sic) fine me for talking about it. They don't like you doing that. [They] like to keep things under the carpet."

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Topics:
Snooker
Ronnie O'Sulivan
World Snooker Championship
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