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Lee suspended in snooker 'betting' probe

Afp
Sunday, October 14, 2012

LONDON — Snooker's world number seven Stephen Lee was suspended by snooker's governing body on Friday after an investigation was launched into suspicious betting patterns in a Premier League match with John Higgins.

Lee, 38, was already the subject of an investigation by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) who were looking into match-fixing allegations in 2010.

The Englishman, however, has already been told he will not face a criminal prosecution over those claims.

"The WPBSA have concluded that it would not be appropriate for Stephen Lee to continue to compete on the world snooker tour whilst these investigations are undertaken," said a statement.

"Therefore WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Stephen from competition whilst this enquiry is ongoing.

"Subject to his right to appeal, this suspension will remain in place until either the conclusion of the investigation or any resultant hearings."

Lee's manager Adam Quigley said his client was devastated by the allegations.

"Stephen can't believe it is happening again, just one week after a case that has been outstanding against him for two and half years was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)," Quigley said.

"Stephen is absolutely devastated. He has worked incredibly hard this year to get back up to number seven in the world. He is sick of all this stuff getting thrown at him and feels there are doubts about him every time he misses a ball.

"Stephen was supposed to be going out for a meal with his wife tonight to celebrate his 38th birthday. He has booked his flights to a tournament in Antwerp next week. Now they are both cancelled and he is engaging a lawyer to fight his corner."


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