James Wade has apologised for controversial post-match comments that he “wanted to really hurt” Japanese opponent Seigo Asada and blamed his actions on a “hypo mania episode”.
Wade struggled to a 3-2 PDC World Darts Championship second round victory over Asada at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.
But the main talking point was Wade’s post-match TV interview when the world number nine told Sky Sports: “I kept giving it to him, I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to really hurt him in his face.”
Former player Wayne Mardle described Wade’s behaviour as “thuggish”, and the 35-year-old from Aldershot released a statement on Thursday apologising for his actions.
“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for my actions last night,” Wade said on his personal Twitter account.
“Seigo Asada is a great player and I would like to say sorry to him, the fans and the PDC.
“Anyone that has followed my professional career will know that this was very out of character for me and I am disappointed in myself with the way I acted both on the stage and in my interviews after the match.
“I was fighting a battle with myself before I even got on the stage due to a hypo mania episode which can happen to me at any time and no one is more upset than I am about what happened.
“I would like to again apologise and hope that people can understand how remorseful I am.”
Hypomania is described by the mental health charity Mind as “periods of over-active and excited behaviour that have a significant impact on your day-to-day life”.
The Professional Darts Corporation, the organisers of the world championship, have said any statement from them on Wade’s remarks “would be issued in due course”.
Mardle, who was working as a television pundit at the game, was in no doubt that Wade’s behaviour should not be tolerated.
“Does he mean he wanted to punch him in his face? What does he mean? I’m absolutely lost for words,” said Mardle.
“That’s just not on. The intimidation, overly aggressive, I hope he wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘I’ve made a mistake there’.
“He can’t think that’s right and no one watching it can think it’s right. That’s thuggish behaviour, there’s no place in darts for that.”
Wade, who twice came from a set down to beat Asada and yelled in the Japanese’s face after levelling the match at 1-1, will face Jelle Klaasen or Keegan Brown next in the third round.