Snooker Player Stephen Lee Found Guilty of Match-Fixing

September 17, 2013

Snooker player Stephen Lee, who was once ranked fifth in the world, has been found guilty of match-fixing charges.

Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPSBA), has confirmed the verdict.

Mawer said Lee, 38, has been found guilty of match-fixing charges relating to seven matches.

The punishment will be announced at a separate hearing on September 24 and Lee could be facing a lifetime ban from the sport.

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 2009.

He was initially arrested in 2010 following an investigation into suspicious betting patterns, but last October the Crown Prosecution Service dropped their case.

Snooker’s disciplinary chiefs assessed the evidence themselves, and in February this year Lee was told he had a case to answer.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “The WPBSA have a zero tolerance approach to match fixing. We have an extensive network of contacts across the world with the gambling industry and with bodies such as the International Centre for Sport Security and the Gambling Commission. This particular case was extremely difficult and complicated to bring to a hearing.

“We believe we have established the world’s most sophisticated system in dealing with corruption in sport and we will take every step under the WPBSA Rules to deal with those responsible. Today’s ruling is a stark warning to competitors in any sport who could become vulnerable in the future. Stephen Lee was the number 5 player in the world and had the opportunity to be part of snooker’s great success story. His future participation in the sport is now in real doubt as he will face a significant sanction.”

It is the highest-profile case of fixing to hit snooker since Quinten Hann was banned for eight years in 2006 for breaking rules governing match-fixing.

Last year, Joe Jogia was banned for two years after the WPBSA found him guilty of breaching betting rules.