O'Sullivan retracts match-fixing comments

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Football News

Snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan has gone back on previous comments made in the wake of Stephen Lee being found guilty of match-fixing.

O'Sullivan tweeted an instantaneous reaction to the news that Lee, 38, had fixed seven matches during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, saying that he "had heard there's many more players who fix snooker matches."

However, in a statement released today, the world champion said: "I was referring to rumours from years ago when there were only a few tournaments on the circuit.

"The comments were an instant reaction to an issue which I feel strongly about, namely the integrity of my sport.

"I have no intention of undermining the integrity of the sport that I love and enjoy participating in so much and firmly believe that my tweets were taken out of context."

The 37-year old also said that he knew of his obligations to report any knowledge of any match-fixing in the sport, which has been thrown into turmoil as a result of Lee's guilty verdict.

O'Sullivan also praised Barry Hearn and he said: "The snooker circuit calendar is now full of tournaments all year round and has undoubtedly been cleaned up since World Snooker was taken over by Barry Hearn."

He added: "I do not want my comments to leave a damaging mark on the game."

Lee, who has five ranking titles to his name, was found guilty of deliberately losing matches and losing to pre-determined scores in 2008 and again a year later, and he will learn his punishment on September 24th.

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Ronnie O'Sulivan

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