• Snooker Match-Fixing

Match-fixer Lee faces lifetime ban from snooker

ESPN staff
September 16, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
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Stephen Lee is likely to be banned for life © Getty Images
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ormer world No. 5 Stephen Lee has been found guilty of match-fixing and faces a potential lifetime ban from snooker.

Lee has been suspended since October 2012 after the allegations came to light, and now he faces an anxious wait as to what ban he will receive, with the decision on September 24 possibly spelling the end of his career.

Snooker's bad boys

  • Joe Jogia: Suspended for two years in 2012 after an investigation into suspicious betting patterns

    John Higgins: Found guilty of "giving the impression" he would breach betting rules and of failing to report the approach in 2010. Banned for six months but returned to win the World Championship

    Quinten Hann: Banned for eight years in 2004 after being found guilty of breaking rules by agreeing to lose a match in exchange for money in a newspaper sting operation

    Peter Francisco: Found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute in 1995 and given a five-year suspension, he subsequently returned to the game

An independent tribunal concluded that Lee deliberately lost matches against Ken Doherty and Marco Fu at the 2008 Malta Cup and conceded the first frame against both Stephen Hendry and Mark King at the 2008 UK Championship. He also lost matches by a pre-determined score to Neil Robertson at the 2008 Malta Cup and to Mark Selby at the 2009 China Open. Lee similarly conspired to lose his 2009 World Championship first round match to Ryan Day, going on to be defeated 10-4.

"This is the worst case of snooker corruption that we've seen," WPBSA disciplinary chairman Nigel Mawer told the BBC. "Lee was working with three different groups who were betting on multiple platforms and the exact score and frame outcomes for matches he played in those tournaments.

"The worst case is the World Championship because that is an iconic event. To think that someone could play in that and to arrange the outcome is more than shocking."

Adam Lewis QC, who chaired the panel, said the verdict of match-fixing was made on the "balance of probabilities", with Lee seen not as a "cynical cheat" but a "weak man who succumbed to temptation".

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