Irish snooker player claims he's innocent despite six year ban for alleged match-fixing 4 years ago

Irish snooker player claims he's innocent despite six year ban for alleged match-fixing

Disappointing to hear

The snooker circuit can be an unforgiving place and life in Ireland as an amateur player especially.

So it comes as a shock this evening to hear that Irishman John Sutton won't be able to lift a cue for six years after being hit with a fairly hefty ban from the amateur governing body for alleged match-fixing and passing on inside information.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association revealed this afternoon that Sutton was found to have breached certain rules during a match with Jamie Burnett last year in the qualifying stages of the International Championship.

Sutton lost the game 6-0 but suspicious betting patterns were noticed and investigated by the WPBSA.

The Louthman was suspended from last February pending the investigation and today the governing body have revealed that they felt the betting by certain associates of Sutton indicated some level of inside knowledge,

'That the betting of these persons was considerably in excess of their previous betting history is a clear indication that they had knowledge of or belief in the outcome of the match.”

58 bets were placed within the space of less than an hour with a total of €18,000 euro put up against the outcome of the match, with the bookmaker then refusing to pay out.

Sutton can appeal the decision and has been ordered to pay costs of €8000 for the cost of the investigation to the WPBSA.

The organisation published this statement on their website this afternoon,

'John Sutton has been sentenced to a suspension of 6 years from the sport of snooker. The suspension will run from 9th February 2015 when the interim suspension was imposed by the WPBSA. Therefore John Sutton will not be eligible to participate in snooker before 9th February 2021.

'He has been ordered to pay a contribution towards the WPBSA costs of £5,000.'

'John Sutton was an amateur player who is was not a member of the WPBSA and he did not hold a WSL Tour card. He was playing in the event in question as an invitee of WSL.'

'Under the WPBSA Disciplinary Rules, John Sutton has a right to appeal the finding and the sentence imposed.'

The father of four has told the BBC that he is innocent,

"The only thing I am guilty of is being an ill-prepared amateur.'

H/T to Irish Times