Huge controversy as Justin Pipe accused of deliberately putting off opponent during crucial dart
Justin Pipe isn't the most popular guy in the darts world at the moment.
World number 27 Justin Pipe landed himself in hot water for what he did during his PDC world championships clash with Bernie Smith on Thursday night.
With the game locked at two sets apiece and Smith leading two legs to one up in the fifth, he was left with a 56 finish to secure the win. To the victor went the spoils of a last-32 match-up with Phil Taylor.
It was all going to plan for Smith. He hit 16 to leave the classic double-top finish. However, as he threw the dart, Pipe began clearing his throat in the background. Smith narrowly missed, but he still had one dart left and a double-10 to win. Again, as he threw it, Pipe started coughing behind him.
WATCH: What did you make to 'coughgate?' 😷 Safe to say @Wayne501Mardle
was not impressed!
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The incident sparked a huge reaction from fans and pundits alike, with some accusing Pipe of deliberately trying to put off his opponent at a crucial point in the match.
Former player Wayne Mardle tore into Pipe after the game on Sky Sports.
"It looks absolutely despicable behaviour by a professional darts player. How desperate are you? What he didn't do is what every other darts player would have done. 'I've got a cough, I've got a cough, I turn away'. Except for Justin Pipe."
"That was a tactic for advantage, that was a tactic to make Bernie Smith miss and he got his way. Whether or not he heard it is irrelevant, the intent was there."
"If Phil Taylor did that, it would have been reported on the front page and back page on every newspaper. That was disgusting."
Pipe has since issued a statement claiming it was all 'blown out of proportion.'