Snooker

Snooker boss demands that O'Sullivan exposes match-fixers

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O'Sullivan claimed Lee isn't the only match-fixer (©GettyImages)
O'Sullivan claimed Lee isn't the only match-fixer (©GettyImages).

World Snooker boss Barry Hearn has insisted that Ronnie O'Sullivan must explain his sensational comments that Stephen Lee is one of many players guilty of fixing matches.

After Stephen Lee was found guilty of fixing seven games by an independent tribunal, including one at the 2009 World Championships, O'Sullivan took to Twitter to claim that there are many other players yet to be caught out.

Hearn suggested that O'Sullivan will face disciplinary action if he fails to provide a valid explanation to his comments on Tuesday

Five-time world champion O'Sullivan said: "I've heard there's many more players who throw snooker matches.

"I suppose Steve Lee was just caught out.

And the snooker boss reacted angrily, branding the player's actions "wholly unacceptable and extremely damaging".

He told reporters: "If he has names and he knows of incidences, he has an obligation and a duty to report them and failure to do so will put him in breach of his player's
contract.

"We take these type of allegations very seriously.

"We have written to Ronnie asking him to explain his comments and to provide details of any match-fixing and the names of the players that he is referring to." 

Stephen Lee is waiting to be sentenced by the tribunal after they found him guilty of what was called "the worst case of snooker corruption ever seen" on Monday.

The player denied the seven counts of match-fixing alleged, which included a 2009 World Championship game and matches at the 2008 Malta Cup and UK Championship.

But he was sentenced after the WPSBA claimed that more than £40,000 was paid into his wife's account

Lee is to receive his penalty on 24 September, and it could be a lifetime ban from the sport.

After the result of the tribunal was announced, O'Sullivan, who defeated Barry Hawkins to win this year's World Championship, suggested other players in the game are match-fixing.

He said: “I just love putting it out there and bringing it all out in the open. Nothing like a bit of transparency is what I say."

He continued: "Plenty of people have got loads to hide. That’s why there is no free speech. They are hiding.

"They will probably 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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