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Amateur snooker player John Sutton faces six-year ban for match-fixing

TAGs: Jamie Burnett, John Sutton, WPBSA

Amateur snooker player John Sutton faces six-year ban for match-fixingIrish amateur snooker player John Sutton has been banned for six years after the sport’s world governing body found him guilty of match-fixing.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) said Sutton’s offences are related to suspicious betting patterns on his match against Scotland’s Jamie Burnett in the qualifying stages of the International Championship in Barnsley on September 24th, 2014, which saw Burnett win 6-0.

Sutton was suspended after being charged in February. The case was heard by the WPBSA disciplinary committee in Bristol on March 24th and Sutton was found guilty, with the ruling announced on Wednesday.

The WPBSA alleged that betting by Sutton’s associates from the Terry Rogers Snooker Club in Dublin was disproportionately and suspiciously large and considerably in excess of their previous betting history, indicating 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, who stood to recoup €55,000 euros (£39,000), put up against the outcome of the match, with the bookmaker declining to pay out.

Sutton maintains his innocence and said that he was feeling unwell during the match and claimed that he has been made a “scapegoat.”

“The only thing I am guilty of is being an ill-prepared amateur,” Sutton told BBC Sport.

Sutton will be suspended from 9th February 2015 until 9th February 2021 and has been ordered to pay a contribution towards the WPBSA costs of £5,000.

“We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues, however this demonstrates our commitment to ensuring all World Snooker events are competed in a fair and honest manner,” said WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson.

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