Former world champion Bingham banned for betting

Tuesday October 24 2017

Stuart Bingham of England plays a shot as he takes on Ronnie O'Sullivan of England in their quarter-final match at the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on April 30, 2013. PHOTO | PAUL ELLIS |

Stuart Bingham of England plays a shot as he takes on Ronnie O'Sullivan of England in their quarter-final match at the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on April 30, 2013. PHOTO | PAUL ELLIS |  AFP

By AFP
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LONDON

The 2015 world snooker champion Stuart Bingham has been banned for six months — three of them suspended — for betting breaches.

The 41-year-old Englishman — who has been ordered to pay £20,000 ($26,400, Sh2.7 million) costs — admitted breaking World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) rules on betting almost £36,000 on matches involving other players and also matches he was playing in over 12 years.

The WPBSA said there was no suggestion the world number nine — who along with Irish cuesman Ken Doherty are the only players to have been crowned world champion at both amateur and professional level — aimed to "influence matches or engage in any corrupt activity".

The WPBSA said this year's Welsh Open winner had admitted to a small amount of betting using two accounts in his own name, but was actually guilty of "greater betting over at least seven years".

They said because he had used accounts not in his name to place bets it was impossible to tell whether he had made or lost money on his punting.

The initial three month ban could be costly for him as it will see him miss the UK Championships and the Masters — he will be able to resume playing on January 26, 2018.

He has until November 6 to appeal against the decision.

"It is very disappointing to see such a high-profile player fall foul of the WPBSA Betting rules," chairman Jason Ferguson said in a statement.

"Stuart is a great competitor and I have no doubt he has always played to the best of his ability.

"This case shows that there are no exceptions to the rules. Players must understand that they cannot bet on snooker at all, even if they are not involved in a match or event.

"Any player found to breach of the betting rules will face the most serious of consequences".