Stephen Lee has been banned from snooker for 12 years due to a match-fixing offence.

The 38-year-old from Wiltshere was found guilty on seven cases of match-fixing between 2008-2009 by an independent tribunal. 

The charges relate to three matches in the 2008 Malta Cup and two at the 2008 UK Championships. Further charges were made in relation to one 2009 China Open match and one 2009 World Championship match.

Tribunal chairman Adam Lewis QC also ordered that Lee pay costs of £40,000.

A statement from the World Professional Billards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said: "The suspension is to be calculated from 12 October 2012, when the interim suspension was imposed. Therefore Stephen Lee will not be able to participate in snooker before 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."

Lee was ranked No.5 in the world rankings during his prime in 2001 & 2003 and made the semi-finals of the World Championships in 2003 - losing to the Welshman Mark Williams 17-8.

Chairman Lewis said in his written findings that Lee was 'in a financially perilous state not entirely of his own making' and that he believed that 'as a weak man in a vulnerable position he succumbed to temptation. It seems to me likely that advantage was taken of him.'

Lee's agent Adam Quigley has confirmed he will lodge an appeal.

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