PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
London, 25 September
Former world number five Stephen Lee was today handed a 12-year ban and also fined 40,000 pounds after being found guilty of seven match-fixing charges by an independent tribunal.
The Englishman was found guilty of fixing last week and the tribunal chairman Adam Lewis QC handed down the sanction here today.
A statement from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said: “The appropriate sanction is that Stephen Lee serve a Suspension of twelve years. 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 12th October 2024.”
“He has ordered that he should pay a contribution towards those costs of 40,000. The WPBSA has a zero tolerance approach to match fixing and this is further evidence of our uncompromising approach to dealing with such issues,” the statement further said. Lee was charged following an investigation into eight matches — four at the Malta Cup in 2008, two at the UK Championship 2008, and one each at the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship the same year. He was suspended last October and an independent hearing was arranged by Sport Resolutions UK.
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,” he said.
Under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules, Lee has a right to appeal the finding and the sentence imposed.
The WPBSA had been seeking a life ban but the world body’s head of disciplinary Nigel Mawer said the 12-year suspension was effectively the same thing.